I thought I would take you along with me on one of my “reconnaissance” missions from this past summer: my fact-gathering trip to London to research the chapter of PrayerWalk London called “Parks & Recreation.”
From journal entry dated Sunday, July 18, 2010
I discovered my raison d’etre at the birth of the PrayerWalk guidebook series seven years ago. All those seemingly random and diverse “dots” in my life came together and a picture emerged that not only made perfect sense but made my pulse beat faster because it was so completely what I could see myself doing for the rest of my life.
Today I’ve taken an early train to London to do some research for PrayerWalk London, which I hope to finish in early 2011 in light of the upcoming London 2012 Olympics. My goal is to encourage Christians visiting London to have a prayerful mindset and to realize that they can make an eternal difference even as they enjoy themselves by praying as they walk around the city.
Regent’s Park and Marylebone
Narrowing down the area that I’ll cover happens seemingly randomly. With Marylebone, I asked a British friend of mine, Caroline, for a recommendation as to the best place to have tea in London – a pretty general question considering there are hundreds of tearooms! She told me that Marylebone High Street was one of her favorite places to go in London and mentioned a little market on Moxon Street that she likes there as well. I’ve learned to listen to the “natives:” they always know the best little places that often go unmentioned in major guidebooks.
As I did my initial research I prayed that God would guide me and give me a check in my spirit if I was wasting time at any point in my research. I prayed that He would open my eyes so that I could see more clearly what He wanted me to see.
The theme for this walk is “Parks and Recreation.” I think it’s very appropriate that this walk be done on a Sunday. Relaxing alone or with family is a very important – and very healthy part – of English life. Just look at all the parks in London! On any given Sunday all of London turns out to enjoy family and fun in the city’s parks.
Today I’ll be doing the walk in reverse order from what it will probably be in the book. Why? For one thing, there’s a market from 10 am to 2 pm on Sundays only and I’d like to browse there and pick up some picnic items for a picnic in the park.
I have a pedometer on me, and as I walk I’ll make notations concerning the time and distance between each highlight of the route. There will be seven walks in PrayerWalk London, and each chapter will begin by noting the starting point and finishing point of the walk, days to avoid the walk (for example, if the walk includes a museum that is closed on a certain day of the week), and the length and time needed for the walk.
Want to see how the walk turned out? See Parks & Recreation Highlights.