by Meg@bluffparkbaptist.org | Thursday, September 24, 2015
Vacation in the Smoky Mountains is so refreshing. Yes we stay busy as we walk the streets of Gatlinburg and visit the shops in Pigeon Forge. But we turn our phones off and we get away from any stressful parts of our lives. For me, the most healing and inspirational time is when I hike up in the mountains. I do it alone…just me and my thoughts. It’s physically demanding yet spiritually rewarding. The beauty and majesty of God’s creation is evident with nearly every step. There are several lessons that can be translated from such a hike to our lives.
1.Have a destination. I don’t wander in the woods, walking around and hoping I stumble on something worth seeing. I choose a waterfall or other inspiring landmark and make my way to it. In life, when we have a destination, life is more meaningful. God made us with purpose and forethought and when we travel to His destination it gives us purpose in life.
2.Savor each moment. Even when hiking to a certain place I keep my eyes on my surroundings and take in the beauty of the entire journey. As we head toward our ultimate destination God makes the journey beautiful. He places people and situations around us that let us enjoy every step.
3.Stay on the path. It is tempting sometimes to hike off-trail, but it is also dangerous. It is easy to get “turned around” and lose your way. If you were to get hurt of injured there would be no help forthcoming. God has given us His word as a “light unto out path”. Stay on His path; it will get you safely and joyously to our destination.
4.Don’t give up. I was hiking to Rainbow Falls and met a couple who had stopped and talking about turning back. They were tired and said they though the falls were about 30 to 45 minutes further. They headed back down. 10 minutes later I was marveling at the beauty of those falls. I felt sorry for those two who were so close, yet they missed it. In life, times do get rough. Relationships seem to be crumbling and we want to give up. Don’t! Success is not far.
5.Finally, it’s worth it. Every waterfall and mountain peak is worth the walk to get there. Photographs do no justice to the beauty that waits. I have stood on the highest point in the Smoky Mountains and gazed out at the almost unbelievable glory of the majesty below me. The almost five hour, uphill trek was nothing compared to what I experienced on that mountaintop. It reminds me of what Paul said about heaven in comparison to his journey to get there: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”. 2 Corinthians 4:17 (KJV)
Trust God. Think Ahead. Plan Big.