Life is Like Hiking

Fall is a great time for hiking, isn’t it? The leaves are just starting to turn and the weather is ideal.
Now that summer is over and the pool is closed, it is time to switch exercise venues. As long as the weather is conducive, I prefer to be outside rather than in the gym. Anybody with me on this?

Gorgeous weather last Sunday, so after church I decided to don my trusty hiking boots and head on over to the park down the road to clear my mind and get some exercise.

This time I am going to stay on the path I know.

Last time I hiked, I tried a different trail, got lost, and ended up having to hitch a ride from a stranger to get back to my car. Never again, I vowed. I fixed my eyes on the red tree markings and headed towards the woods. What a level of comfort I felt, knowing where I was going and where I would end up.

I watched people coming and going from all different directions on the various trails. Some were walking their dogs. Others were jogging. Some were alone. Others had a friend or spouse. Then the thought occurred to me that life is like hiking in many ways.

We take all sorts on paths on our journey through life, don’t we?  Some take us the long way around and others are a complete dead end. Whatever path we choose,  I believe we are all seeking the same things in this journey we call life:
– community  (a sense of belonging)
– serenity ( a sense of peace)
– fulfillment (a sense of purpose)
– love (connection to God & others).

What differs is the path we each choose to fulfill these needs. After having explored many different belief systems, I chose the path of Christianity. Why? One simple reason – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why would I believe (put my faith and trust) in someone who is dead and buried? We’re all going to end up that way so what makes them any different from me? Not a thing. I wanted someone who has overcome everything including death itself and that person is Jesus Christ.

Jesus offers me the power to overcome every fear and every obstacle, climb every mountain and be victorious in any circumstance. Who wouldn’t want that? Plus, I have the peace of knowing where I am going in this life and where I will end up when it’s all said and done. I have a sense of community in the family of God, and inner peace knowing that Jesus is always with me. I have purpose and most of all, I feel truly loved.

What about you, dear one? Are you on the right path for you? How are you feeling most days? Do you have a sense of fulfillment & belonging? Do you feel joyful, at peace and confident of the future? If not, I encourage you to take a step of faith, open your mind and your heart, and take a walk on God’s path. You will never be alone and it will be the adventure of your life, I promise you.

Until next time, send me your thoughts and of course – keep looking up!

Is it Really Luck?

About three few weeks ago, I went for a hike at the park near my home. My cell phone rang and apparently, as I was taking it out of my pocket, my prescription sunglass overlay fell out of my pocket, unbeknownst to me. When I discovered the loss, I was quite perturbed. I circled back on the trail to try to find my glasses, but it was getting dark and the park was ready to close. No luck. The next day, I came out again to retrace my steps in hopes of finding the glasses – still, no luck.

I prayed and prayed. I decided to let the issue go and not fret over it. What was done was done, and it was my fault for not paying attention anyway.

So this past sunday was a lovely day and I decided to go for another hike. Something told me to stop in at the Nature Center. “Do you happen to have a lost and found? I was on the trail a few weeks ago and lost my prescription sunglass overlay. I was wondering if anyone had found them,” I explained to the young lady at the desk.

“Wait here and I’ll check,” she said. Now, after 3 weeks, I didn’t want to get my hopes up that the glasses would be there. I decided to remain calm and wait it faith while she checked.

The young lady emerged looking pretty solemn. Then she raised her hand which held – guess what? My prescription sunglass overlay! Now what are the chances of that? They were intact and not even scratched. I burst out with joy and thanked her profusely.

Now, some call this fate, some call it luck; I call it God. I was teary-eyed as I left the Nature Center. To me, it was God’s grace in action once again. He cares about everything we care about, everything that troubles us. “Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

What is it that you are fretting about, dear one? Is it a job situation, a loss of some sort, or perhaps a financial issue? Rest in His loving arms, because He does care for you, more than you can ever imagine. When we have done all we can about a situation, it is best to give it up to God and let Him handle it. He can and will!

Drop me a note and let me know what you think of this story and if anything like this has ever happened to you. In the meantime, trust God and keep looking up!