I was off work last week and had a marvellous few days of walking in the Peak District with my friend Gary. I don't do it often enough but I love getting out into the countryside, away from human-created noise, and tramping up a few hills. And as you'll see from these photographs, the Peak District has plenty of hills!
The thing I like most about walking, though, is that it really helps me reconnect with God. Partly that's about escaping from the city and experiencing a bit of nature, but for me it's mostly about spending several hours with a few close friends and having a good old natter. I especially love it when we talk about faith issues; anything from how much we're growing in godly character, to new songs we've recently learnt, to thorny doctrinal issues like what you have to do in order to be truly saved.
It seems the unhurried nature of a day out with a few people gives the perfect opportunity for wide-ranging and often deep discussion, leading to a real connection with my walking companions and with God. That's certainly been the case for me with this trip and I'm very thankful for the fresh sense of closeness with God. I've not felt this way much this year so it's a welcome relief.