Since 2014, Glen and I have enjoyed hiking and backpacking sections of the Appalachian Trail. If you aren't familiar with it, the Appalachian Trail is a foot path through the Appalachian mountains which spans almost 2200 miles (the distance varies slightly each year) from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine.
Every trip we have ever taken, whether lasting several days or only several hours, has never failed to present us with both challenges and joys. The work of climbing to the top of one, or multiple mountains is certainly challenging, The joy in seeing the vistas from those mountain tops makes the challenge worth it.
There is a phrase frequently used among hikers, "Hike your own hike." Hikers will hike the same trail, but often in very different ways. Some are section hikers, completing a small section at a time. Some hike for weeks at a time, some complete the whole trail in one continuous hike. Some hikers hike northbound (NOBO), some hike southbound (SOBO) and some "Flip-flop,"meaning they start at one point, go a distance and then go back to another point and hike back to where they started. Some use tents in which to sleep, some prefer hammocks, some "cowboy camp" meaning they use no shelter at all, but sleep under the stars and some sleep primarily in the three-walled shelters which scatter the length of the trail. Some bring stoves to cook their meals, some eat only food which requires no cooking.
|A mountaintop view in Virginia|
No matter what the hiker chooses concerning direction, food, shelter, sleeping, they all plant their feet on the same trail. And they diligently follow the white blazes painted on trees that mark that trail. Without these blazes (and several wonderful hiking apps that direct your way) hikers could easily get lost and find themselves in dangerous situations. The white blazes are the "feet on the ground" trail guide.
|The first white blaze we ever saw, |
north of Newfound Gap, TN.
As Christians, we all have our own walk with the Lord. We may have differences in beliefs, in practices, in how we pray, when we pray, how we worship, where we worship...myriads of things, but we all seek to follow the Lord. The beat of our hearts should be to "...grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18.) We should all be holding the Word of God as our "trail guide," that document that keeps us on the path and teaches us the truths of our Lord. We should all be seeking to learn from other Christians in our lives and we should all seek to bless those whom the Lord has placed on our own personal trail.
"But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
|An unexpected view in Georgia|