Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Holy Hiking When I Don't Want To

This past Saturday, we went on the first hike of the season. It was a one-dog hike since Foxy/Psycho Dog is now living elsewhere. I have to admit, it felt strange not holding a leash and a dog. I actually missed the little turd. She's kind of cute in a wooded setting.

Between both of us having been through surgery in the last 7 months and the arctic weather which forced us inside (and the snow that gave us great excuses not to go to the gym), we were just a tad out of shape. The first...I don't know...hundred yards (it didn't take me long), I thought, Ugh, I don't want to do this. This was a much better idea when it was still an idea.

It wasn't that much farther that I began to have trouble catching my breath. I thought, When did they add these hills in this trail? How did it get harder? Yeah, right, as if. Hello, you're just really, really out of shape...not just a tad. A whole lot.

Once we got going, and the endorphins kicked in, and I actually started enjoying the day and the scenery, things got a little better. But boy, that 2.25 mile loop sure seemed like 5. 

When I walk in the woods, I have nothing to do but walk and think, so ideas often pop into my head. I thought about how out of shape I was and how difficult the beginning of the trail was because of that. And how much I really didn't want to do it. And how, when I got going, I slipped right back into the groove.

It's not so unlike reading my bible, spending time...Time...with God. If I put that bible down, or leave it in the car from Sunday to Sunday, it becomes a forgotten "task", not unlike exercise. Once I decide that it's time to get back into my bible reading, the task seems great, for some reason. It's those first...oh, hundred yards of bible reading...picking up the oh so heavy book. Sitting quietly. Figuring out what to read...or perhaps, if I'm feeling very spiritual, asking the Holy Spirit to direct me to a passage and then seeing if that passage really exists, thereby wondering if I was really hearing from the Holy Spirit if it doesn't (Or, if it says something like, "Repent, you stiff-necked heathens!" I'll think, Oh, I must have heard wrong; let's try it again).

But once I start reading, once I put my mind to the task, once I shut out the distractions of the day, it's like hiking. I start enjoying it, the voices of this world clamoring for my attention become more distant and the voice of my Savior becomes more stronger. Well, His voice never changes; I'm simply more attuned to it. What started out as a chore becomes a delight. I'm sorry to say, yes, sometimes it feels like a chore. It's a discipline. One that I haven't nailed down. But I'm a work in progress, and I get a second chance every morning. And so do you.

So get out those holy hiking boots and take a hike in God's Word today. 

Blessings Along the Path,

I Want Your Presence (Bethany Dillon)

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