a writing by James Stephen Thompson

The Secret Seven – He Shall Direct

Luke 3:4-6 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

Occasions such as the break of a further day, and it is time to fight our way. Out into what did and still does appear, a cool but pleasant morning for this time of year. The route for a walk I could not say, it was up to the leader to lead us not astray.

The group for this occasion despite consisting of only seven, had soon met up together within a pleasant atmosphere of warm sunlight. Although rain for the afternoon hours had been forecast, the morning sun did radiate its heat together with further light as the operator of our vehicle accelerated down and along the A609, all with intention so to reach the Kniveton Park housing estate, beyond which did appear the water’s edge of a lake having to it the strange name of; Straws Bridge. The vehicle with its passengers was soon being maneuvered, all so as to park into a position upon the patch of ground authorized for guests, as yet a further walk was soon to commence.

The leaders handed the guide unto any person with interest to observe the path we were to cover. As for myself, I was leaving it to another person to be the leader. We had no sooner embarked on our planned stroll, when streams of living water to the left stepped in by both sight and sound. Over to the right, there came views of a golf course in use. As we progressed on by the side of the golf course, we became greeted by scenes of golf balls that had gone astray and were naturally, now lost. It was as if, being out on a hunt for Easter eggs as more were retrieved, for we were recovering yet more and more lovely looking golf balls.

An egg hunt we all know, being a game during which decorated eggs or Easter eggs are hidden for children or perhaps through my notification, management members to uncover, find and retrieve. Real hard-boiled eggs, which are typically dyed or painted, artificial eggs made of plastic filled with chocolate or candies, or foil-wrapped egg-shaped chocolates of various sizes would be hidden in various places.

The game is often played outdoors, and the eggs are collected in a basket. When the hunt is over, prizes may be given out for various achievements, such as the largest number of eggs collected and for the largest or smallest egg too. To add extra obstacles to the game such things as nettles or thorns would be brought in and the eggs placed in amongst them. On this occasion however, as stated, we were retrieving yet more lost golf balls from such surroundings as we progressed on around the edge of the water and farmlands too. There came the moments however, when we all had to admit or confess ourselves that we were lost, although the boss would hastily add; “It does you good to occasionally get lost on a walk. You become misplaced or maybe doomed, yet you catch sight and see more”

There did come the times when another walker out in the fresh air, would have had their advance in being able to direct our group on further to the next terminal. Most of the way across the decided on route, there was the occasional concrete path we were able to walk upon, although the verge of green grass on either side, had a more advantage in ways of comfort unto the feet of each person. There then also came the occasions when a bench, enabling one to sit and rest, would have come into sight. A sigh of relief unto myself I must say, as I had the need to sit and rest my feet. I also offered to raise them up, all so as to enable one of two female members to pour out oil over and upon them both.

The group of all seven of us however, although on occasions having such diverse opinions on wheather to turn left or right, or continue straight on, eventually had our mission accomplished. Our round of very much a circle through periods of both stress and strain, was now completed and we were back on approach to where the cars had been parked. They still stood positioned together with the vehicles of other visitors, each standing alongside each other beside the edge of such a large open lake of calm water. It was as we approached, into view there came a scene among so many of an old man pushing himself along the stoned shoreline of such, a large basin of water. It appeared he was attempting to make haste, as he progressed along the waters edge to where, a variety of aquatic birds had now gathered. It did so seem by sight, that he had almost half a loaf of sliced bread resting upon the seat of his four wheeler heavy duty roller.

He then picked up his loaf and began to throw chunks unto the birds, all in hope I suppose; of a hole in one. Each chunk, thrown as if by firearm towards his selected bird. Some being Swans, whilst others were Geese. Ducks joined in in attempts for a piece. A piece of bread directed to all, and most likely caught together with a call. A call of snorting or hissing from a Swan, or perhaps a honk from a Goose now on the run. A duck on occasions would win her piece, together with such quacks and unable to cease. Sounds of a machine gun fire came in too, as a Grey Heron descended from out of the blue.

We reached this aged gentleman, only to find that it was the person that had come to mind. We all greeted him with the words; “Christ Odd; You have changed!” We stated plainly unto him; “You have aged within such a short period of time.” His straight reply being of the NHS having the need to cut down yet further on staff members and today, almost all tasks, the management or he himself would have the responsibility of dealing with alone. “Yes,” being our straight reply, “we all noticed you as a bogey having a challenge with your heavy duty roller.” We asked him; “Do you find use from it very often these days?” For a time of relaxation I could recall, was how he would have spent most of his working hours back in my days within the NHS. “You must be active on your feet,” we told him, “otherwise, no food. Notice how these birds activate themselves at the sign of a further delivery. The Grey Heron mind-you, will be after any sign of fish. You require five loaves and two fishes see.”

It was then at that very moment of time, when the word Sea Eagle simply flew into my mind. From where it been delivered, I could not work out. There were no Eagles on the loose around and within this section of Derbyshire, and surely it did not relate to that Golf Course next door where earlier on, we had walked over and upon the golfer’s green beside Ilkestons Kniveton Park housing estate. It was then quite frankly like the appearance of the calm water, that the meaning floated into the mind as a birds feather and was no way off course; but of course! Isaiah 40:31 Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like Eagles.

Or then perhaps, thinking back to the younger days when my mother was being brought up, her parents were residents on that very estate; Kniveton Park. The number of golf balls week after week and time after time, I had been informed, they would have traced within their rear garden that overlooked the golf course, was surprising. I retrieve here a regular statement of words my grandparents would have stated through their dwelling place, overlooking the golfers green. Revelations 8:3 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in mid-air call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe!"

Perhaps it was a regular gift to find yet further golf balls hidden in the back garden, yet my grandfather apart from being employed at what had been the Stanton Iron Works back in his day, was also a Methodist Preacher. It would have been through special delivery into his rear garden of yet further golf balls, when he would have greeted it as being a message from the Lord; ‘further God calls.’

Well, perhaps we do get lost on a few occasions whilst out on a particular path, yet we have to remember Proverbs 3:6; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

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