Surrounding my sister’s holiday home in Urquhart’s Bay is spectacular scenery.
Yesterday morning I was keen to do this tramp and managed to persuade my 9 year old niece, Stella, and 7 year old nephew, Will, to join me. They have hiked a lot up here and are very fit and I knew they were perfectly capable of it. However, as we got to the entry gate of the hike Stella started to complain of having a very sore knee, and Will began to whinge that he too was sore. I decided to take this opportunity to share with them how I have learned to manage my own pain with these hikes.
I told them about a song that I had written to help me with this exact hike with the intense leg pain that I experience. It is based on the book of Philippians in the Bible, chapter four, verse 13 which says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Back in 2011 when I was up here I first started to challenge my beliefs that I couldn’t do these hikes due to my pain. I made it over to ‘Smuggler’s Cove’ every day that summer and when my pain was intense I would just sing this scripture to myself with varying intensity, depending on how much I needed that strength at that time. However, I changed the wording from the actual scripture to being,
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
There is nothing that I will not try
For I am empowered with the power of God”
Stella and Will seemed to have taken in what I was saying as they both stopped complaining of their ailments and happily did the hike over to ‘Smuggler’s Cove’.
Later, in the early evening, when we went to walk down my sister’s very steep drive to go swimming, I said to the kids that I might have to take the car down to the water’s edge as my leg pain was really bad. It was then that Will piped up and asked “But Aunty Gabe, why don’t you just sing your song? It will give you the courage to keep coming!”
Will’s saying this was a total reality check as I realised that he had 100% believed that I gained strength and courage (his words) from the words of my song and he couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t also apply it now when this was the case. His speaking up and saying what he did really got me thinking of how it is far too easy to say things to others that have helped me in the past, and then forget to continue to apply them to my life.
This brought to mind a comment that was made to me as a teenager by a non-Christian friend who had said that Christian’s are all hypocrites and never practised what they preached. I wondered if I had become one of the hypocrites. However, in this instance it is more the case that I remember the things that inspire me and help me keep motivated when I’m not weary, but forget them once fatigue is added to my pain.
Will’s comment yesterday really challenged me to not only ‘talk the talk’ but to also ‘walk the walk’ and it is something that I hope I will remember to come back to every day.
I believe that if we are to be true, authentic people, we need to not only mean what we say, but also put into practice what we say.