It was back on Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, when we wrote about a plan to "live simply" through the Lent period. We failed miserably in this Lent objective as all kinds of unexpected life issues pressed in on every side and Lent was anything but simple. However, sub-conciously it seems that the seeds of a new approach had been subliminally sown. It was possibly during an Easter canoe journey that the mist began to clear and the issues settle. The term "life without walls" was coined as we sat around the camp fire one evening and in my mind, at least, the process of being drawn into that more simple lifestyle began to crystalise.
Since this year's expedition our third activity season gathering pace has been punctuated by a series of meaningful pauses.
The Church weekend away at the beginning of May used Hebrews 12 1-2 as its theme and for me the notion that we must "run the race marked out for us with perseverance" struck a strong chord. Its not a random race that we are running or somebody else's race, rather its a race marked out individually for us and to succeed we must run it with perseverance. It was a weekend of great fellowship, often sat around the huge log burning stove which we kept alight for the full 72 hours we were there for. Marion & I "van camped" for the three nights, it was simple living among friends and marked another step on our journey out of Lent.
The weekend just passed saw us camping once more this time in the North East, with friends from COAC. There was a good measure of canoeing thrown in and much socialising around camp fires in the evenings. Again we camped in the van but spent every moment of each day that we were there living simply in the outdoors.
On our return today a text led us to collect the remnants of a friends tree, felled over the weekend. It's in the process of being cut into logs and transferred into the wood shed for seasoning over the hopefully drier and warmer summer months. Fuel to keep the fire burning over the coming autumn and winter.
Living outdoors; life without walls; conversation around campfires; friends; the knowledge that there is a "race marked out for us". A simple life based on an understanding of: who we are; where we belong and what our purpose is - living simply - a transformed life.