by Robert Weston
The Broad Open Spaces
VENTURE further along the path of intimacy with the
Lord, our awareness of eternity returns and we are
again able to sense the Lord’s presence and power.
Our pilgrimage feels once more like an adventure to
enjoy rather than a perplexing ordeal to endure.
By the River of Delights we had basked in the Lord’s
presence. On the Ascent of Toil our willingness to
continue with our walk had been put to the test. When we
finally reached the top of our own Lakeland climb we were
rewarded by stunning panoramas and the invigorating
headiness of fresh mountain air. We had reached the Broad
Resting on the summit in the warm sunshine, I had a
‘mountain-top experience’. The peace of the Lord wrapped me
in His presence, and He encouraged me not to be afraid to go
further along the path of contemplation. It was a powerful
confirmation of a process that had been under way for some
time. Far from contradicting my earlier ministry, either as
an evangelist or in taking the word of the Lord to the Body
of Christ, it simply added a rich new dimension.
On the Broad Open Spaces the Lord honours the
refining He has accomplished at an earlier stage of our
pilgrimage. We look back and marvel at the ways by which the
Lord has led us, and we feel ready to bear greater burdens
and to embark on fresh ventures for the Kingdom.
The Broad Open Spaces are a season of great
opportunity, but they are also full of potential snares.
Just as tufts of grass conceal marshy bogs and ensnare
careless walkers on the fell tops, so too in the spiritual
realm, we must be careful to keep up our guard, lest pride
and complacency creep back in. It takes special grace to
exercise spiritual power without it going to our head.
In this final section, each chapter develops themes we have
touched on earlier. ‘The Pace of Life’ introduced us
to the concept of waiting on the Lord; ‘Whispers of His
Love’ and ‘The Paths of Guidance’ will focus on
how we can discern the Lord’s leading more clearly.
‘Exploring Silence’ prepared us to be able to undertake
‘The Art of Burden-Bearing’.
In the Broad Open Spaces, prayer flows freely because
our spirits are in tune with the Father’s heart. Like a
windmill whose sails begin to turn with the first breath of
wind, so our spirits are sensitive to the Lord’s prompting
to pray for matters far and near.
‘Towards a 'Life of Reflection’ likewise prepared us
for the final chapter ‘Towards Eternity,’ which
brings our thinking about intimacy with the Lord to a climax
On to Chapter 13