We are not alone

October 7, 2020 · Print This Article

The English Lake District provides some of the most amazing and challenging walks. That’s where I am at the moment, with family, staying in an enormous house that used to be a vicarage. For a while that confused us as there was no evidence of a church nearby and we wondered what the responsibility of past vicars had been.

A Sunday morning’s walk from the vicarage took two of us across marshy fields full of disinterested sheep, and then on to a steep track with a road sign stating it was unsuitable for vehicles. The track continued to climb, wandering around the hill until it eventually levelled off and we were rewarded with a view across a valley, uplifting in early October sunlight.

We almost missed it, but nestled back against the hill, and hidden by trees, was a tiny church. In the walled churchyard there was a small congregation standing in a circle, socially distanced, with a vicar in full robes. He was leading his tiny flock in singing We Plough the Fields and Scatter. Of course – it was that time of the year, Harvest time. There were no fields around to be ploughed or scattered with seeds in this fairly inhospitable landscape. Crops would not have grown here – only sheep grazed, but there was still something to show gratitude for. His voice was strong and confident and the singing echoed across the hillside until the wind took it away.

We stayed and listened to the end of the song, having shared the moment. There were people who had made an effort to reach this somewhat inaccessible place of worship, to be with each other – and from a world where there is no longer a discussion of whether God exists or not. We have moved past that to an arena where it is assumed that God is not a thing to be believed in – everyone “knows” that he is a myth. He is a product of our imagination. Something we have created to fulfil a need and create some structure in our lives. Believing in God is sometimes a lonely place to be. An old testament prophet – Elijah – was convinced that he was the only person left in Israel who worshipped God, but God pointed out to him that he was not alone – there were 7000 others who were still faithful.1

And here were less than a dozen people, on a windswept hill, looking out over the craggy hunch-backed hills of the Lake District, publicly singing their beliefs to the open sky.

Sometimes a belief in God, and a desire to follow his direction, can set us up for ridicule. It can be tempting to seek a way of life that does not confront the issue. But we can be confident we are not alone. It would appear that God has placed his name somewhere in every corner of this world, in every corner of our country – our town – even on the top of a remote Cumbrian hillside. We are not alone, a comforting thought, do you share it?

Maggie Mitchell info@because.uk.com

Maggie is an editor at Because

11 Kings 19:18
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