“The Road goes on forever…” said Baggins in Lord of the Rings. Take one step out of your front door and who knows where the journey may end.
Tolkien’s imagination constructed a world of adventures and wonders. Following our creative thoughts can set us on a Road of discovery- who knows where we might get to? This photograph was taken on the edge of Pagham, looking back across farmland to the nature reserve beyond the trees.
In the foreground, two trees frame the central view- and the fence has a gap, inviting the eye forward and removing the sense of boundary or enclosure. There is a way in. There is an “unknown” here- what is beyond the trees? Fields, farms, fences? The estuary or lagoon? Would we meet someone, or encounter wildlife, or find a path that goes on and on into the distance?
Let’s use this photo as an invitation to explore our world, as we imagine walking beside Jesus. If we had had the privilege of being one of the original Twelve, things Jesus saw became parables and pictures teaching truth, and leading them into God’s ways. If we walked here… the field is growing wheat or barley. There will be a harvest, but now it is fresh green growth. Skylarks may be nesting between the stalks… leverets quiver in their daily scrape, waiting for Mrs Hare to come home. The trees ahead are waving leaves in the gentle breeze, and digging roots deep into the rich earth.
As we walk forwards, we talk as friends about our day, our sore feet, the tasks that wait for us. We discuss our possible destinations, and where we might get some lunch. Oh, look at that! A kestrel hovers while mice cower. Listen- the goldfinches are singing… and the blackbird in the treetop… what beautiful liquid trills fill our ears with delight.
Perhaps it’s time for Jesus to ask… “Richard, what’s on your mind?” or perhaps to point and say “Look! The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who dug a ditch to irrigate his field. The water touched the roots of the wilted wheat, and the stalks became strong…” (Finish the ending yourself!)
A walk in your imagination becomes a lesson for life, or a prayer of the heart. Go on. Step on the Road… and walk with Jesus.
You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.