During my vacation in September, my sister and I did some hiking in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. A very small section of a trail we hiked was a part of the Appalacian Trail (AT). The pictures here were taken at Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia.
What we did was very small in comparison to other hikers who we met along the way. These hikers included eight Methodists from Indiana who were hiking on the AT (one of whom was 79 years old) and there was the young man from Oklahoma who was hiking with both of his elderly parents.
While Debbie and I were further south, Rev. Dale Clem, the pastor of Monte Sano United Methodist Church, was finishing his journey from the Northern most point of the AT to the entrance of the trail into Vermont. This week, I was expressing to him my admiration for this feat and thought it might be fun. Dale's response to me was "you don't do it because it's fun, you do it because it's a challenge."
The trek in the woods and over mountains is is not unlike our spiritual journeys. Sometimes our journey feels like a walk in the park and other days it is a steep climb. But, through it all, we know that God challenges us to faithful living and calls us forward.
I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from?
The LORD will protect you on your journeys--whether going or coming--
from now until forever from now.
Psalm 121: 1, 8
A side note: Somewhere in the state of Maine, my friend Dale Clem, passed a friend of the men from Indiana. Their friend who goes by the trail name SOS was finishing up his thru-hike from GA to MA. Here is his blog about his journey.