I recently had the opportunity to go walking on Lord Howe Island. One morning I decided to go it alone. After walking up hundreds of steps and then walking down even more, I ended up on a deserted beach with a mountain looming ahead of me. As I climbed the ridge of this mountain, the path became more narrow, the wind more ferocious and the view more spectacular.
When I reached the top of what ended up being a rock scramble to the top, I was very aware of how alone I really was. I had not seen any person all morning. There is no mobile coverage on the entire island and I was out of internet range. When I thought about it, I could not remember the last time I really was alone. For even if I were home and felt I was alone, I only need go out my front door to find someone. Alternatively, I could pick up the phone and I would soon be talking to somebody.
But here, in this moment, on top of a mountain with the wind howling around me, I truly felt alone – alone with myself – and alone with my God. And it felt good. To have some time to take in God’s creation. To listen to the noises around me knowing the only distraction was myself. I knew it was a moment in time that I may not have again for a long time. It made me realise how much in my normal life I look for distractions to meet my needs instead of turning to God. I realised how God is here with me, if I only take the time to listen and then enjoy His presence around me.
The challenge leaving the mountain was whether I was willing to take the lessons learnt on top of the mountain into my everyday life. Coincidentally, I returned to this very beach and mountain the following day with my dad only to find Gardening Australia filming with some twenty odd locals and crew. I knew the instance I saw them, the moment I had the previous day was truly a day that could not be recreated. In this moment, I was thankful for yesterday, but also in this moment ready to listen and be with God in new ways and new opportunities.
Karen Woolford…from Connecting Faith Newsletter of UCA Hobart North, Scots-Memorial and Hobart Wesley