The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan was first published in 1678. It is undoubtedly a book that many of heard of and refer to, but I wonder how many have actually read the book?
With that thought in mind, I decided I really must get on and read it. If my reading list had not included A Pilgrim’s Progress, during my ordination training, then now was the time to amend that.
I am enjoying the book immensely, the lessons to be learnt along the way, the characters of dubious intentions, along with characters who just complete the journey as far as they are able, and then fall to the way side, or return to the safety of the begining.
It is not for me, a book which I can read quickly or devour in one energetic reading frenzy. It leaves me with a need to spend time in my own thoughts about the events and of course to reflect and try and learn from my own life experience.
The journey starts at the City of Destruction and we first meet Christian as he leaves his home, his family and the city. He meets Obstinate and Pliable who try to dissuade him from this journey, but he continues with Pliable and directed by Evangelist.
The first obstacle is the slough of despond, in which they both start to sink. Pliable gets himself out and immediately returns home. Christian with his heavy pack on his back sinks further until he is helped.
‘Why did you not use the steps?’ he is asked. Christian replies that he was so frightened that he stepped straight in!
One of the aspect Bunyan uses well is the name of the companions and people on the way. A brilliant way of knowing and understanding the people.
I will continue with A Pilgrim’s Progress and even if I continue to step off my own path from time to time, I know that the eventual journey is leading me in the right direction.
Rev’d Sue Martin