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Walking For Cream

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Sometimes a fond memory fills our mind, and we find ourselves meandering through the corridors of time past. Flashes of simple, enjoyable childhood memories remind us of events of former days.

My grandmother lived on a small farm in the central western district of New South Wales, Australia. Often, I would go to stay: a city girl free to explore the camphor-scented nooks and crannies of her old, rambling farmhouse, to wander leisurely outside under tall swaying pines and to gaze upwards at clear, cloudless, skies.

There was a ritual we enjoyed together. Taking her worn string bag in one hand and mine in the other, we set off every few days to purchase fresh, frothy cow’s milk, a slab of sweet, yellow butter and a large jar of thick, cotton wool-white cream from a nearby neighbor. I can hear the grinding crunch of our boots on the gravel road, as we walked at a steady, rhythmic pace. Tall, eucalyptus scented pines bent over and whispered friendly greetings as we passed and mud-brown cows nodded shyly with dark, chocolate eyes. Then the occasional wave of a farmer’s leathery hand extended toward us as his old tractor, the faithful work horse, chugged past.

We had time to notice, to wonder, to laugh, to learn about the world around us and each other. This was a much-anticipated regular rhythm, and we embraced each walk with a heart full of thanks.

Today, what are our simple rituals? Walking for pleasure or perhaps walking with a purpose. Holding hands, folding washing or chopping wood. Preparing meals, painting, reading and praying. Learning, laughing and loving together. All our slow manual work, simple and time consuming in nature, is significant, worthwhile, and formative. It is good work given by our Creator, for our enjoyment, for our good, for our growth.

There is however, in our western culture, (that demands we cram more into every minute) an urgent need to slow down and accept the limitations of ourselves and the limitations of each day. There is a high price to pay for anxiously trying to do more than we were designed to, frantically attempting to push ourselves and become someone God never designed us to be. We are human, why do push and rush and produce at a superhuman pace? What might it be like to live each day in healing rhythms that honor our body and savor the pleasure of rest, and the delight of play?

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.

Let’s live a life that resounds our belief that God is in control and will perfect all that concerns us.

Let’s live a life of peace and contentment knowing that our goal is to become like Christ, who lived each moment giving Himself fully, first to His Father and then to the person who stood before Him and the situation God placed Him in. What would it be like for us to do the same? How often we wrestle within ourselves unable to fully enjoy each activity and absorb ourselves in the task at hand! We are too easily distracted by the ‘next thing.’ We ought not to scoff at the emerging daily tasks that seem too long and monotonous. Let’s not be anxious to move onto greater things. We are living in great things in this moment, even if it seems trivial and mundane.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

God’s invitation is for us to live believing each task, each piece of our day is a gift given by Him to be opened and enjoyed with Him. Let’s not be found living thanklessly, but instead, with grace and gratitude, savor the simple daily things in life. Often, they bring us the greatest pleasure of all.

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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2 comments

  1. Jennifer,
    Thank you for your message. I smiled at your lovely childhood memories with your grandmother, and how special your relationship was with her, and most especially with God.
    God Bless~

  2. Jennifer,
    Thank you for your post. It was a great reminder to slow down and follow God’s leading in His timing.
    Well written with great descriptions that made me feel like I was there.

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