Six hundred and eighty steps, the kids said. All the way down, plus the places where the gravel path wound through the lush bush to the next set of steps, and all the way up again. Going down was fine, Miriam could walk down hill or along the flat as far as you like. It was coming back up that was the problem.
Still, it was wonderful to be here with the family and able to do this walk with them. They’d missed the grandchildren while they’d been overseas for a while, and now the family was home for a few months. It was lovely to see the children grown and everyone so happy.
“The steps of a good man,” Miriam sang with enthusiasm, stepping carefully down, one by one.
“Are ordered by the Lord,” continued Dave with his deep voice.
“And He delighteth in His way………..” Miriam was trying to teach the song to the children, but they had run on ahead.
At the bottom was the beautiful beach. The children got so busy making sand castles and splashing in the waves that they didn’t want to go home.
“We should have brought our lunch,” said Sally. “Then we could have stayed here all day.” Soon, though, Miriam and Dave decided to head back.
“I’ve had enough sun burn,” Miriam said. “We’ll go home for lunch, and see you later for dinner. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon.”
Dave was patient as Miriam puffed her way up the track and back up the six hundred and eighty steps to the car park. They stopped frequently to admire the view and let Miriam regain her breath.
“This is just like the Christian life,” Dave remarked on one of their stops. “It’s easier to go down hill, choosing to go along with every fad that comes along. Working towards maturity is like coming up these steps, at times it seems like an uphill climb and it takes a lot more effort.”
“Yes,” agreed Miriam. “That reminds me of those verses in first Peter where it says “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” ٭
“Wow,” said Dave. “You can quote that straight off!”
“My hard work in the past has paid off,” she grinned. “Memory verse work has always been a priority for me, as you know. Even when you think you’ve forgotten it seems to come back when you need it.”
“And they are interesting steps in those verses,” continued Dave. “Even though you may have some measure of all those virtues at the same time, there is still a progression. Taking one step at a time is the key to building life to maturity.”
They puffed their way up the final set of steps, reaching the top at last and looking back over the magnificent view before heading to the car. The ocean spread in the distance before them, with the rocky shore way down below, little off-shore islands dotted around like stepping stones.
“It’s interesting that love is at the top of the list,” said Miriam. “I thought I couldn’t love you more when we got married all those years ago, but I see that love matures too. I know I love you more now than ever before.”
Dave took her in his arms for a lingering kiss, ignoring the young people spilling out of a nearby car.
“I love you too,” he whispered. “And God loves us, and we love Him. We are in a love triangle, and standing here with the sun beaming down on us is a picture of how His love enfolds us completely; it is glorious.”
٭ 2 Peter 1:5-7 NIV
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