Pilgrim's Regress

Pilgrim’s Progress is fresh in my mind, for 8-10 of us are reading it together. I’m often drawing parallels between my own experiences and that of its leading characters: Christian, Christiana, Mercy, Faithful and Hopeful.

Several times last month did I attempt to pass through quagmires. Mine were made of physical mud rather than poor Christian’s mental sorrow, but it took quite some effort to extricate my wellingtons from the thick, brown gloop. At one point, the mud was but an inch or two off the wellies’ top. I found myself revolving both arms to keep my balance, trying to avoid tumbling like some Laurel and Hardie-esque comedy scene. We Christians still pass through despondency‘s slough; although our Lord promises us strength and support, He allows the sad times to come, the depressing seasons to descend.  

On a return from Horton, I ascended a steep drumlin only to realise my laminated map had fallen out of a back pocket. I considered cutting my losses and going home without it; I knew the way back well enough. Not wishing to lose the item, I traced my footsteps half a mile till I saw it on the grass. Back up the hill I trudged, wellies now beginning to rub. In the Progress, Christian leaves his scroll in the arbour on the Hill Difficulty. He too goes back to retrieve it, receiving a rebuke from Evangelist.  

As I tramped back to my house, I wondered what other experiences I shared with Christian. I’m not sure I’ve ever fought Apollyon nor been tried for my faith at Vanity Fair. Yet I’ve met a good many characters- Worldly Wiseman, Talkative, Ignorance and Timorous. I’ve also spent a good few weeks in Doubting Castle, though now I think I’m approaching Beulah Land, the place of ever-growing maturity and sweetness.