Where the good way is
Jeremiah 6:16 says “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it, Then you will find rest for your souls. “
Today was a lovely morning, the early morning mist created paler hues of light pinks and blues, a softer, milkier arrangement for the eyes before the sun rose higher to burn through the haze and restore clarity. It had been a busy morning with reading and studying for the next book Leviticus in the reading plan. Regulations, Laws, Offerings and Worship procedures, which I relish. Bertie however, does not see the significance and just wants to play out and go for walks, but not by himself.
It’s a wonderful afternoon, so we set off for a long walk. Aiming for about 2 to 3 hours, that should be plenty. It’s a way that we have not been before. A roadway through farms and remote cottages and forests, all idyllic and peaceful. The roads are so quiet that I have no problem allowing Bertie off the lead but I am still alert to keep an eye and an ear out for any danger.
We come to a small crossroads and I think that it is straight on and not a right turn, so on we go. It won’t be a problem if its not, as we can turn around or find out where we are when we get somewhere. We pass a little farmhouse with a little old Peugeot outside, a 106 I think. I stop to take a photo, not because it is spectacular, but because its not! What I mean is that I am genuinely stunned by the age of cars here, all in great condition, bodywork, running, roadworthy. There’s a multitude of cars, maybe 1 out of 3, is older than what you will see in the UK. Citroen 2CVs & BXs, Peugeot 105, 206, 307s, all long ago ended up at scrapyards up and down Britain. To be crushed into cubes and sailed to China to be melted down and returned in some new shape of car, bike, furniture or girder!
As we pass this farmhouse, up around the corner of the road, 2 large dogs come bounding and barking towards us. They stop about 50ft away and continue barking loudly. We stop in our tracks, as a 3rd dog, a big Alsatian catches up the other 2 and runs past them towards us. Surely the owner will come out of the farm up the road to unblock our path I thought. The 3rd dog comes nearer as I try to hide Bertie behind my legs and shoo him away. But he is trying to get closer, he has a savage look in his eyes. I keep Bertie shielded and retreat to the farmhouse we have just passed, with the car outside it is logical there is someone home who will know this dog that is looking for a fight. I don’t take my eye off the pursuing dog who is only 2 feet away as I knock at the door, the dog circles around like a shark weighing up its next meal ready to attack.
A French farmer opens the door as I hastily blurt out our position, he grabs it by its scruff of the neck and inside it goes with him and without a word the door is shut!
I decide not to continue down this road. The other 2 are still waiting further up the road. We turn back and I thank the Lord that nothing serious happened. As I recall the events in my mind. RING… RING …RING….My phone goes .. Who could this be? Theres only Phil the Canadian Editor and designer (Who is doing a fantastic job of this page might I add) who rings me during the day. My heart is still palpitating at a high rate “ HI < ITS ABOUT YOUR PPI! “. Is there no place that you can be that is unavailable?
We get back to the crossroads and turn the way we didn’t go before. Its quiet, its lovely, its peaceful …” WOOF WOOF WOOF “ was the cry as another dog comes bounding up towards us! This time there is an owner and a lead as he calls his dog to return “VOTRE ..ICI ..BIEN“he calls. As we draw nearer. The man speaks in English, a conversation soon starts. I warn him of the danger of the dogs down the other way, it turns out he is aware of them and that’s why he is walking down this road!
It’s a nice day as we talk some more, a good hour or so. It turns out he lives here, has done for some time. Our moral values are not too dissimilar, I had told him about my “conversion“ to following Christ and that I was a born again Christian. He told me one of his friends was and relayed a short story. It was at this point that I realised I knew of him, my friend whose cottage I am staying at had told me of the ex foreign legionnaire who she was assured that if I met him, that we would get on. She was right.
I thought and prayed about the difference that going down a different road can soon lead to. Real danger was one way and friendship was the other. I shall endeavour to choose the right path continually with Gods guidance.
We walked back, it was good to talk. Me and Bertie went to the supermarket where I got him some titbits, a tray of offcuts for being a brave boy this afternoon and again Bertie was stopped in his tracks, this time by the local Gendarmerie, this time only to remark what a good boy he was.