Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A New Name

Lately I've been fascinated with...ok, maybe a tad obsessed with the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail, or simply the A.T. runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. It's roughly 2,200 miles long, but it's always changing because of modifications to the trail or re-routing. Many a hiker has set out to walk this trail from start to finish--they're called thru-hikers. Some have made it; some have been forced to abandon the trek because of injuries or other reasons---the monotony of the Trail, the solitary life, the unpredictable weather, the constant hunger and thirst, the weight of a 30 pound pack, the bugs, wet supplies, and blistered feet. Many books and memoirs have been written about these experiences. 

I am fascinated by all of this and I've been reading a few of these books. (Two sisters decided to hike the trail together...barefoot. Why?) As fascinated as I am with this, I really can't understand what would possess a person to walk 2,200 miles without a bed or shower. I love to hike, but I hate to camp. So, no, I have no desire to do this, because it involves sleeping outside on the ground. And I would have to remain dirty for quite awhile. And I would smell. No, thank you.

But...I do find this GaMe (Georgia-Maine) fascinating. There seems to be a whole different culture on the A.T. For some reason, no one uses their real names. Everyone has a trail name. I'm not sure why, but I think that's pretty cool. 

I've been trying to think of a trail name for myself. I haven't come up with one yet. Some of the names describe a person, like Hikernutt, Dr. B and Blissful (real people). Others "earn" their names...they are given to them by others...from the trail, like Paul Bunyan, Jackrabbit and Signage. 

When we come to know and accept Jesus as our Savior, we are also given a new name. No longer do we need to call ourselves Lonely. Insecure. Afraid. Ashamed. Guilty. Wounded. Victim. Scarred. Unworthy.  Inadequate. Stupid. 

Our new trail names are ones like Overcomer. Confident. Healed. Whole. Joyful. Precious. Peaceful. Contented. Victor. Blessed.

Jacob's name went from "Cheater and Deceiver" to Israel, which means "Overcomer." Saul became Paul. Simon became Peter. Anyone who has had an encounter with God will never be the same; God gives them a new name.

What would your Holy A.T. name be? Would it reflect who you are in Christ? Or would it be something you've earned along the trail...a name given to you by God? Ask Him...you may be pleasantly surprised!

Blessings Along the Path,

Song of the Day--don't be put off by the unknown name--their harmonies are beautiful!
I Will Change Your Name (The Nebblett Family)

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