As we become older, most of us of a certain age have no idea what we would like as a birthday present, at least not until after the day has passed. I did however come up with something – a 12 month subscription to “The Dalesman” a magazine about God’s golden acre – Yorkshire, a county close to my heart as it would be being a dyed in the wool Yorkshire lad. It is full of personal stories, down on the farm experiences, history, geography relating to the county and evokes many happy memories. Although I moved away when I did my National Service, in a way I have never left it and also return frequently.
My chosen career in farm management enabled me to move around the countryside, experiencing the beauty of this green and pleasant land, appreciating all that it has to offer. From rustic Herefordshire – now that is a county not to be missed, to the fells of Yorkshire where I quickly realized the hardships that the dales farmers endured high up on “the tops”. On to Lincolnshire and finally coming to rest in Hertfordshire, a delightfully wooded county, which being close to London has an abundance of fine estates and good shooting. How fortunate I have been.
J.B. Priestley, John Betjeman and H.V. Morton to name but a few all wrote about “this England”. H. V. Morton, amongst his other publications also wrote “In the steps of the Master”. A travelogue of Jesus’ journeys. It is a book full of interest and a faithful account of the journey taken by the author through the Holy Land in search of every village and town associated with the life and ministry of Jesus.
We are not in a position to trace those steps today for political reasons but we can follow Jesus’ steps through what he taught us during his travels throughout his ministry. To pray for guidance in our lives; to love God as surely he loves us and finally to love our neighbours as ourselves. That would be quite a journey.
If you are not sure where to begin, pop in to St Martin’s Church. There’s guidance there for the asking and people already on that same journey. You will be surprised where it will take you.
Finally, in the Dalesman each month there are words of wisdom from an old fellow – Amos – that I came across recently. “T’doctor once said Ah should walk two miles afoar breakfast. Two months later Ah were in Scotland”.