Winning the Race…

Sometimes I wear myself out so completely that this morning I could quite easily have laid down in my tracks and given in.  

I didn’t.  

I was in the middle of the 100 acre woods pulling brambles out of the trees racing against time.

I usually wear heavy rubber wellingtons that weigh me down and a canvas jacket; this combo protects my ankles and feet from being pierced by thorns trodden underfoot and my arms and wrists  from being scratched as I plunge deeper into the hedgerows that grow very much faster than I can trudge.

The work is deliberate taking me from copse to copse, thicket to thicket, tree to tree,

I pace myself for two hours.  I usually go out first thing after prayers and Yoga.  Sitting down to write is the carrot I mentally dangle in front of me once this clearing is done.

There is something in my doggedness to keep going that buoys me up.  I invariably feel better in my persistence.

I look at my watch and for another thirty minutes load the truck with the brush wrestled from the trees,


I drive it down to the burn pile on the other side of the property and unload.

I have a responsibility to the land.

I am its steward.

I persist each morning until the buds herald the arrival of another spring.


Later, during Stations of the Cross I am alerted to Christ’s persistence.

When he falls along his painful stumble to calvary I’m certain he could have just laid there, immobile, but the solders whip him and he hauls himself three times from the ground laden by his heavy cross and courageously continues.

I feel for him especially after this morning’s exhaustion on the land.

If he had given up and passed away along the road where would that leave me?

No-one else could have taken over, Jesus was God’s only son.  He couldn’t lay down His cross and say,

“This is too hard Dad, I give in.  Send someone else.”

There was no-one to take over.

Instead, as he hung upon the cross he whispered,

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

And then, more loudly,

“It is finished.”

He had taken the mantle of the Good Shepherd and died to save his flock.

He had taken the world upon his shoulders in order to save it.

In my journey through life when I persevere in the small obstacles and tasks put before me I am following Christ.

He overcame evil and sin and by rising won salvation for me.

Surely, in the light of Christ’s example, I can take on the mantle of a good steward and clear a bit of land to win the race against brambles for my trees?


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