. . . I really wanted to be able to go into the Scottish mountains in the winter. I wanted to be able to walk with confidence on the snow and ice. I was given a pair of crampons for a birthday present and an ice axe for Christmas. It was time to seize the day. I booked a winter skills course at Glenmore Lodge and joined the Scottish mountaineering club, thereby receiving the latest expedition compass.
When the time approached for my departure on Sunday afternoon to the “frozen north” of the Cairngorms, I began to get anxious. Would I be the oldest? Would I be fit enough? Would I have the nerves I would need? Perhaps I did not feel very well . . .
There was ice – plenty of it – and there was snow – and I had a lot to learn about it. I had to borrow kit to go along with my axe and crampons. I was invited to do stuff in those hills that blew my mind. I was carried along by the energy of a great little group of (younger) people; I laughed and I pushed myself and I tried not to be left too far behind. I can now use an axe; I can now climb up an icy slope using crampons. I am not sure I would be able to stop myself if I started to slide . . but I would have a go.
I felt alive. God was on my shoulder and in my heart. My boys were cheering me on: go for it, Dad. My wife was saying her prayers.
We are preparing for an initiative in the circuit which is being launched on Saturday called Rhythm for Living, where we are going to invite each other to adventure in discipleship, to leave the familiar and discover life in its fulness. Perhaps we might step off the train and onto the snow slopes, breathing the cold winter air and set off on a new journey of adventure.
The instructor said to us as he invited us to follow him: “It is challenge by choice”. Now there is a sermon. I enjoyed the companionship of my fellow travellers. At the end of the day one of them discovered that I am a Methodist minister and declared “I would never ever have guessed that!” Not sure how to take that now.
I was nervous about setting off, but thrilled now that I went. Perhaps I feel the same about this Saturday.