In observance of National Take a Hike Day I am mindful of God’s image reflected in nature. The earth is filled with hundreds of miles of wooded trails. Nearly 8,000 state parks beckon visitors each year, but one can get inspired by the beauty of the smallest walking trail within driving distance.
Before I start every trail hike, I prepare myself physically and mentally. In the woods there are insects, spiders, and other small animals, and I’m cautious about running into strangers. On my favorite open trail, the path shifts from soft to rocky. On one occasion I ventured out so long that I got caught in the rain. But even though I got wet, my soul felt recharged. I went out one way and returned with a new attitude. My spirit is filled with joy when I walk! For during my walks, God speaks to me and shows me something new in my season of life.
Through hiking, we can learn how nature can imitate our spiritual life.
- Being outside exposes you to insects and bugs: Chewing insects attack a plant’s fruit. Your enemies and people who attack you aim to keep you from bearing spiritual fruit, but God’s love will protect and shield you. In life, you will encounter events that will cause you to be frustrated, but like insect repellent, God promised to be your covering.
- Creatures great and small will gaze their eyes on you: In the woods, creatures seemingly watch your every move! Christians are watched every day by family, friends, and co-workers. They observe you to see if you’re genuine.
- Beware! The ground you walk on will become unsteady: Life is a journey that takes us on a path filled with ups and downs. When hard times come, some Christians never seem to get upset, while others stumble and succumb to old habits. When we chose to follow Christ, He promised to lead us on paths of righteousness. If we stumble, we won’t fall, because He promised to uphold us with His hand!
- Know that God places people on your path by divine appointment: On your life journey, ask God to order your steps. If your steps are ordered by the Lord, God will cause you to meet people He wants you to bless, and allow them to be a blessing to you. That encounter could open a door to a professional opportunity, or bless your personal life. Begin to tell yourself that every meeting has a purpose.
- Accept instruction with gratitude: When we receive instruction the teaching is likened to rain, dew, raindrops or showers. Just as flowers and plants need moisture to grow, we need wisdom through instruction to help give us direction in life.
Venture outside and take a hike. If you’ve never journeyed through a park, a mountain trail, or caught a glimpse of the wilderness, pick up your feet and begin to explore new terrains. Enjoy the season of your life and the beauty of God’s creation in nature!