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  • Writer's pictureJill Ball


Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus would get up and find a quiet place to pray. He would walk in the hills to talk privately with his Father and listen to his voice. After this he would know the next step, the next place to go and why.

Jesus is our example.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”
So he travelled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
Mark 1 v 35-39

Walking and Being with God

Walking in the countryside has been one of the main springs of joy in my life.

I find walking with my Creator, appreciating His creation, talking with him about life has always refreshed me and restored my soul.

I have been blessed by living near the North York Moors, The Dales, Exmoor, Dartmoor and the foothills of Mount Kenya.

an original oil painting of Andy walking in The Dales

Now that we are living in Turkey, my husband, Andy, & I try to walk together in the forest, hills or beach once a week. We explore the nearby villages and woods and I can feel myself relaxing, breathing in the fresh air.

In England walking each day for exercise has been encouraged during the lockdown. Maybe walking, or forest bathing, with the Japanese name shinrin-yoku, will become even more popular there. Asymmetric, repetitive exercise has been found to help us order our thoughts. Activities such as knitting, peeling vegetables and walking.

Walking is good for our mental and spiritual health, as well as our physical.

Appreciation of the beauty of nature, refreshes us and restores our soul.

Do you have a time each week like this?

The Cool of The Day

The Lord God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. In the Turkish summer it becomes very humid, hot and oppressive in the middle of the day, so I get up early to walk along the seafront before most people are awake. I love the cool of the day.

On my fortieth birthday my friend looked after my five-year old son and I walked on the moors. My youngest was about to start school and as I contemplated a shaft of light on the heather, I idly thought how I would love to be able to paint it. The idea became a resolution, so at the age of forty I went to college to learn to paint.

Andy, was hoping I would get a job, but that’s another story.

an original oil painting of Jill walking

I recommend walking in the countryside. If that isn’t possible, how about visiting a local park or garden. George Bernard Shaw said, ‘The best place to find God is in the garden.’

an original oil painting of bluebells in Enys Gardens

If that is difficult for you, find a flower, or something beautiful that was created by God.

In the book Chasing The Dragon, Jackie Pullinger describes pointing to the sky, as she couldn’t see any of God’s creation in the slum where she was working.

Or you could contemplate the beautiful paintings in the online eyes to see gallery

Contemplating creation is a way of coming close to, and focusing on, the creator.

Or you could look at the series on biblical mediation

Cool of The Day

This is a beautiful arrangement of a traditional American folk song by John Ratledge, with an astonishing soloist, Sean Holshouser. The choir are the Choral Scholars from St Paul's United Methodist Church, Houston.

Are there still sacred spaces on earth? Holy Ground

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