A clear memory from my childhood that I have is one summer holiday wading out beyond the beach into the Somerset muddy sand at low tide with my Dad. I remember him laughing that his poor feet would be complaining as we squelched onwards getting muddier and muddier.
I thought of this again as I recently squelched through mud and soggy sand crossing over on the Pilgrim Path to Holy Island in Northumbria. I thought of my Dad and his good example to me. I thought of the thousands who had walked this way before with different motives. Some doing it for fun; some as a challenge; some tagging along, following the crowd. Some in sadness and some in joy. For those who travelled this way on foot at low tide to reach this ancient holy place this stage would be a time of great anticipation as they came for refreshing or healing, in hope, in despair or simply to worship.
And you? As you approach God, how do you come? What is our frame of mind as we approach the Creator of all things – whether through “mud” or on good firm sand? And what are we doing this for? “What are you doing here?” is the question Yahweh asks of Elijah. What are you doing here?