Hiking Lesson #258: If you're on the wrong path...well, you'll end up in a surprising spot
Ever go hiking and not know you were lost? Yeah, me neither.
This past weekend, a few of us ventured out camping for a couple of nights at the Gorge. The temperature dipped down to the 30s one night, and we had rain the next...but otherwise it was perfect camping and hiking weather. I love to be outdoors, and the beautiful surroundings, the fresh air, the cherished company of my family did not disappoint.
And, of course, there's Rico the MorKY! It was his first extended outdoor adventure. Our little indoor doggo is a fierce, protective "country" dog at heart, and he and his furry cousin Bruno took the Gorge by storm! Tiny but oh-so mighty. (Let's just say that Rico got three baths when we got home.)
What should have been about a 3-mile hike (a full loop to include the purple highlighted trail in the map below) ending up being a bit over 18K steps (all the yellow highlighted trails). We had missed an extremely important left turn along the way.
Yet, even after walking so long, we had convinced ourselves that we still were on the right track. We had taken plenty of water breaks during the afternoon, plus we stopped to eat lunch. Those little doggie legs walked about 3 times as much as we did (and they needed rest, too).
We were enjoying each step and the good company along the way; the trail was do-able and not too strenuous, and we just kept walking, taking in the fresh air, the peace and quiet, and the bright sunshine as we steadily trod forward.
As we were nearing the end of the loop (or so we thought), we were finally a bit energized to walk out toward the parking lot at the trail head where we started (or so we thought).
Nothing like coming out of the forest to discover that your car is actually parked about 8 miles away. At this time, it was already dark:30, and the thought of hoofing it another 8 miles, well, it just wouldn't quite compute.
Needless to say, we were "rescued" by a very kind gentleman who drove Edwin and me back to the car. We circled back to the rest of our hiking buddies within about 40 minutes or so.
The life lesson? Well, if you really want to stay on the right trail, you need an extremely well-written, up-to-date trail guide with plenty of details and descriptors. You'll want a compass to confirm your steps and direction.
The spiritual lesson? Just as a compass and guidebook are complementary, so, too, is the Word of God (the guidebook) and His Spirit (the compass). They work in tandem.
Thank goodness if you get derailed, side-tracked, or lost in the Daniel Boone Forest, there are Park Rangers who are there to help.
Thankfully, we, too, we have a extraordinary Savior, the Ultimate Uber Driver. Some how He picks us up, dusts us off, and gives us renewed hope for a happier ending. He even offers us Living Water to quench our thirst, bread for our hunger, and a lamp to light our path. He clears the way for us directly to the heart of God, our heavenly Father.
Go out and discover what it means to know this Savior. It may prove to be the "hike" of your lifetime.
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