We enjoy hiking earlier this summer we went on a hike to Clark's reservation. Although they give you a map when you enter, the map leaves a lot to desire. We started out on this interesting hike through old glacier rocks which was quite challenging for us, the kids and the dog. Some nice people told us to go on a different trail and well we were out hiking for 3 hours but we had a lot of fun. We bribe the kids with ice cream at the end of the hike and the kids have been asking to go back there ever since. It was a fun hike although very challenging. Recently we went on another hike at Filmore Glen. We had to take the rim trails as the gorge trail was closed, three hours later and 2 very tired children we emerged from a very difficult hike. The kids were troopers. We enjoy that hike too. The baby hug out in his carry both times and thus had fun. Of course we are always prepared, or perhaps over prepared for these hikes with water and snacks.
On both hikes we didn't start off saying lets hike for 3 hours or over 4 miles or lets take the crazy trail with the lots of grades. Instead we began both hikes blind as to what was in front of us except a small little map that assured us we were going in a circle that would bring us back to our car. And isn't that what faith is all about? Knowing that if you follow God's plan for you it might be a bit vague - you might not be 100% sure where it is going to lead you, but you can be assured that it will be safe and with God you will be amazed. Sometimes it is better to just follow the path that God has in store for you. Not carve your own but follow his. At one point in the Filmore hike we were worried that the kids were not going to be able to make it back, there were several "off shoots" that were not on the map but seemed to go somewhere. If we had taken one of those we may have come up with even longer trails or harder paths. Instead we followed the main path knowing that we would get back.
Jesus asks us to follow him. Although it is someone blind faith - it isn't completely we have the Bible a map for us to follow. We have prayer - communication with God. And of course we have a church to be with us on our journey so we aren't alone. So we have others we can ask "hows the path up ahead?" or give encouragement to those who worry "this too shall pass."
At Clark's reservation our trail ended with a large staircase out and at Filmore Glen it ended with large staircase down. Life has its up and downs. God asks us to trust in all we do and to follow. The best part about each of these hikes for us - and all the other hbyikes that we have done that didn't end up to be 3 hours - is that in the end we all feel proud that we accomplished these. The kids are excited and can feel glad that they "made it!" And we can have the same feelings when we follow God's path. There may be up and downs; there will be moments when you think "I just can't do this" or "I feel lost" but staying on God's path will always end in reward. More importantly it will end with sense of understanding of the world and ourselves. We will come out knowing ourselves better and feeling proud of all that we can accomplish if we just trust and believe.So I challenge you this summer! Think of the ways in which God is calling you to follow and the ways in which you are instead carving your own path. Trust that even if it takes you longer then you had hoped that by following God's path you will be rewarded in the end. So open your map - the Bible - and start praying that God reveals the path for your life.