|Posted by HeartbeatAT Team on January 8, 2013 at 10:35 AM||comments (175)|
Early New Year's morning, after we stopped by to make sure the heat was on in Rocky's cabin, Junker drove my brother Chuck and I to the Trailhead near his home in Fayetteville, Pennsylvania. For just a few glorious moments I was back on the Appalachian Trail.
As I snapped the photo below, I couldn't help but think that this was the perfect to begin the New Year.
Now that another holiday season is quickly fading into memory, we find our thoughts rapidly focusing on that next grand event on our calendar; the start of yet another thru hike just a bit more than two months from now.
The Trail indeed beckons, but not necessarily for those reasons seemingly obvious to most in the hiking community.
As the snow begins to melt and the calendar once more beckons us to think of Spring, we will prepare to tread this path we have trod so many times before.
The story however, will not be of the trek. It never has. It never will.
Our "story" is about the people God grants us the privilege of calling friends, sharing with them His story, which is the greatest story of all.
|Posted by HeartbeatAT Team on November 8, 2012 at 9:40 AM||comments (0)|
Monday, October 22, 2012
I'm headed east. My time in the beautiful southwest is over for another year. As I sit here at a Walmart this morning waiting on the mechanic to finish an oil change on the van, I can't help but reflect on the multitude of memories that flood my mind from these past three weeks in the desert.
Tackling correspondence, camping in the Jemez mountains of New Mexico, meeting new friends at Elephant Butte, visiting lifelong ones such as Marge Maaser in Gallup, Peggy Palmer and her nephew Taylor in Centennial, Colorado, meeting up with "Mom" Alexander in Denver, and spending a week taking in the breathtaking scenery of Utah' s Arches National Park, Canyonlands, and Bryce Canyon, certainly made for memorable trip west I won't soon forget.
But it is now over. The time has come for me to return to "work." By Wednesday night Sherlock and I plan to be in northwestern Maine manning the Stratton Motel and Maine Roadhouse for Sue while she heads south on a well deserved vacation.
I always find myself saying goodbye to the southwest grudgingly. Yet the thought hit me yesterday morning as I was taking time to be still and worship. What I am returning to is what I live for! This is not a job. This is a love affair! I am returning to do what I wouldn't trade doing for anything this world could offer!
Major W. Ian Thomas often said, "The Christian Life should be one 'vacation' after another. In every situation, we should discover that it is He who does the work, not us!"
Isn't that what vacation is all about? We vacate and let someone else occupy our place while we are gone. For the believer, that IS the true Christian experience. We are to VACATE whatever it is that we can't handle (which is just about everything when you think about it), and let Him OCCUPY the hole which we find ourselves in. Anything less or other is a sad and sinful variation.
So this morning I find myself returning to work, but the work is not my own. It is His, and has been for some eleven years and counting.
Little wonder I feel so refreshed.
Happy Trails to All,
"For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:30)
|Posted by HeartbeatAT Team on November 8, 2012 at 9:35 AM||comments (0)|
Monday, October 8, 2012
Elephant Butte Lake State Park, New Mexico
Joe and Rae Edenhofer are originally from Grand Rapids, but they live here now. They have fond memories of their time in Michigan, for it was there many years ago they came to Christ under the ministry of Pastor John White at the Calvary Baptist Church.
Of course, I didn't know any of this as I pulled into the State Park entrance Saturday morning. I read about this place online the day before and decided to try it out instead of traveling two hours further into the Gila wilderness. It was supposed to be about ten degrees warmer here than in the Gila. That was enough reason for me not to go any further.
As I drove up to the pay window, I was greeted by a very friendly woman who welcomed me to Elephant Butte. By the way, "Butte" is a word that means "mountain that stands alone"', though I'm not quite sure which mountain they are talking about since there seem to be plenty of them around here. Anyway, the nice lady's name was Rae, and she began telling me all about the Park, even offering advice about what was, in her opinion, the nicest place for me to camp. She asked how long I was planning to stay. I told her at least two nights since I was hoping to go to church somewhere on Sunday. She exclaimed, "My husband Joe and I would love to have you join us tomorrow morning!" I told her I would plan on doing just that.
Sunday was delightful. I walked a little over a mile from my campsite to the Church at the Butte. The people were most friendly and made me feel very welcome. The service was rather lengthy, but no one seemed to mind. The congregation was ordaining a new Deacon with a fellowship dinner following. That provided a perfect opportunity for me to spend more time with Rae and Joe. We discovered in the course of conversation that we even knew some mutual friends back east. I love it when that happens!
Hiking back to my campsite yesterday afternoon, I couldn't help but marvel at the reminder that God has His people tucked away all over. Even here in the desert, He has those He calls His own.
Before we parted, I took a picture of my new friends and wrote down their address. I look forward to reconnecting with them again the next time I'm in this area. A grand day indeed!
Happy Trails to All,
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,...
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea (or even in the desert),
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me. (Psalm 139:5-6;9-10)