I have enjoyed being the trail manager for my son as he has experienced the Appalachian Trail this year. I have sent him care packages at designated post offices. I have kept him advised of weather conditions. I have met him a few times along the way to encourage him, clean his clothes and restock his supplies. I keep him abreast of current events and sports scores.
The one thing I cannot do for him is actually walk for him. He, obviously, has to do that himself. I help and assist from afar, but he’s the one actually putting one foot in front of the other each day covering hundreds and hundreds of miles. Here are a few thoughts on his walking:
1) It is his responsibility to head the right direction. That may sound obvious, but no matter how many guide books I get him, compasses he looks at, or advice he secures – he is the one that will get up in the morning, pack his belongings and head off in the right direction. That is often a problem for some people. The shelter’s along the way may be off a side trail and the trail itself is not always straight. Even if you are heading ‘northbound’ the trail may be circling a mountain and may be headed east or west at that moment. There are some instances where the northbound direction actually heads south momentarily. You must get your bearings and head the right way.
God is my Trail-manger. He has given me His book, His precious Word. He has given me the Holy Spirit for direction. He has given me good counsel to surround myself with. But, God will still require me to stand at the Judgement Seat of Christ because he expects me to walk wisely.
2) He needs to be mindful of where he is stepping. There are many pitfalls along the trail. Rocks get slippery, sticks may roll and snakes may slither underfoot. He who hikes must be mindful of where he is putting his foot.
The Psalmist reminds us in Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly. We must be mindful of where we are walking.
3) He must take care of himself physically. The hikers along the trail quickly discover the wear and tear upon their physical well-being. They must be mindful of their knees, ankles, and especially their feet. It is easy to slip and break an arm or wrist. It is easy to forget how much you are exerting yourself and not properly hydrate yourself. Hikers must make sure they are eating enough protein and nutrition to keep up their muscle strength.
The Christian in his daily walk must be feasting upon the Word. He must be mindful of the wear and tear that sin and this world can have upon their character and upon their spiritual walk with God.
4) The Hiker must get his rest. Too many hikers over exert themselves. They walk too far or push themselves too hard. They must “walk their own walk” as they say.
The Word of God reminds us to Be still, and know that I am God!