Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Walk With Me...

I just wasn't feeling the Life Journal texts this morning, so I thought I would try to do something different. I'm going to
try to do a photo blog. I've never done one before, so we'll see
how it goes. This may take longer than usual as I learn to move
the pictures around and get them where I want them.

One of my holy places is the hiking trail. I love to hike. Actually,
I just love being outside and hiking is one thing that I can do
outside, it's cheap, and actually, does this nearly 40 year old body
some good. Also, I'm blessed to live as close to Land Between the Lakes as I do. Less than an hour's drive and I can be on just about any hiking trail I want.

So, yesterday I decided I needed some trail time.
I worked for a couple hours yesterday morning,
then loaded up and headed east. I thought that
I would hike the Honker Bay Trail at LBL. It's long enough to make it worth the drive, 5.5 miles,
but not so long that I'm sore when I get done.

As I began the hike, the woods was totally different than the last time I hiked it. Summer is in full swing, and visibility was greatly reduced. But it was still beautiful. Summer is a great time to be in the woods because it reminds me of how cool Godstuff really is. I mean, where else can you see a PawPaw tree hanging full of fruit?

About 1.5 miles in, the woods got dusky dark. A cloud began to blow in, the air started to cool, thunder could be heard in the distance, and then the bottom dropped out. There was no choice but to keep walking and get soaked, so I did. It kind of made me feel like a kid again, so I didn't mind being wet, and it actually helped keep me cool after the storm passed and the sun came back out.

While I was walking, and drying out, it hit me just how much
a hiking trail is like this life journey we're on. Sometimes we
may be going along and it feels as if the walls are closing in all
around us. The trail may be straight, but sure isn't wide.
Weeds and tree limbs scrape against you on both sides, Stinging
Nettles cover you legs and arms, and it's just plain miserable. But
then...just up the trail, there is a sign that tells you you're on theright track...just keep going. So we do.

I had gone about 4 miles into the hike, and this ol' boy was starting to feel it a little. I knew that I still had one long climb ahead, but then it was pretty down hill from there. I stopped on the edge a TVA cut along the power lines to muster the will to climb the hill that was coming up when God spoke. It wasn't an audible voice, not a loud voice, not even a whisper. It was a moment. As I stood there, a butterfly (forgive my ignorance as to the species) landed on a patch of wildflowers and seemed to just be posing for me for a second. It reminded me that, even facing an uphill climb, God has this annoying tendency to show up and let you know you're not alone.

Even the rocks were speaking yesterday. Near the end of the trail, as I came back around the nature station, this one spoke. What it said to me, and hopefully to you, is "Jamie, you see this rock. You are like this rock in one respect. This rock would be a solid foundation for any building, and I am making you, and those like you, the foundation for something much bigger than you can imagine." It was at that moment, that I found out FaithRiver had hit 100 fans on Facebook.
So, my new friends, walk with me. I'm not exactly sure where this trail is going to lead, but neither am I afraid to put on my boots and take off. I know there will be some difficulties along the way. I know the trail will not always be smooth, nor flat. I know there will be times when we might want to just go back to the car and forget the whole thing, but somewhere along this trail are fellow hikers who have lost their map and don't know which way to go. We have been called to lead the way out.
Hiking, as a metaphor, is a wonderful way to look at life. There are twists and turns in the trails, hills that have to be climbed, things on either side of the trail threatening to get us off course, but every now and then, whether in the shade of the woods or the sun of the meadow, God reminds us that we are walking alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment