One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. I love it because of the cooler weather, as fall takes a turn into winter. I love it because of the food that is traditionally saved for just that special day. I love it most, though, for the memories I have of my family gathered together throughout the years we spent at my Uncle’s ranch in Oklahoma. Sometime in my childhood, it became a tradition for us to take an after dinner hike around Uncle Roger’s property. We would walk through fields as cattle stared at us from a distance. We crossed over streams as we walked through wooded areas, sometimes catching glimpses of deer hiding in the brush or hawks flying overhead. During the early years, most of the fun was in the adventure of what we would explore and what we might find. As the years progressed and my cousins and I grew older, the fun was walking over familiar ground, recounting the memories of those early adventures in our childhood.
I find a lot of parallels between those walks in the woods and our daily walk with Jesus. Some of us are early in our walk with him, where every turn brings adventure and discovery. Others of us have walked with God for years. Our daily sojourns are now filled with memories of paths we’ve walked with him. Yet, we always have the prospect of on-going adventure because a walk with God is never old or boring. There are always fresh possibilities in our life with Christ!
One aspect of Lent that I love is the reminder that there should be a simple joy about our walk with Jesus. Yes, there are difficulties to face, questions to ask, and unknown paths ahead. But overall, life with Jesus is meant to be a walk that brings joy, peace, and restoration to us daily. As David said to the Lord, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)