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Walking in good company 


In 2008 I did a 5-day hiking trail on the South African south coast. For three of the five days one walks along the cliffs and beaches of a nature reserve. It is called the Whale Trail, because if you’re there at the right time of year (as we were) you can see the humpback whales doing their thing pretty close to the shore. It’s magical. Incredible beauty. Stunning views. Perfectly simple cabins (without electricity) to just get disconnected from the rat race of earning enough to go on such a trip.

But the thing that stood out for me was the company. There’s only space for twelve people or less at each cabin. We were eleven: two families of four each and three single guys. All friends. Friends who got to know one another better and better as the beautiful miles of coastline slipped by under foot. Friends who got to learn from one another as conversations around the campfire turned into impromptu storytelling sessions. Friends who experienced going uphill, climbing down precarious ladders, taking off shoes and backpacks, and encouraging one another together.

There’s something beautiful about living life in community. We don’t all go at the same pace. We don’t feel strong all the time. But we’re all sharing this time on earth right now. We might as well do what Paul encourages the Galatians to do in Galatians 6:2 – 

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

It makes the journey so much better and so much more beautiful than walking on your own.


Nico Marais, 18/11/2020