There are many things I am thankful for, but few compare to the introduction my college buddies gave me to the vast Southwestern landscapes of Arizona. Jack, Lenny and I were best friends in college and did almost everything together. At one point we even shared a house to help cut back on expenses. We rafted, hiked, and drove hundreds of miles to explore unknown territory.
One spring weekend we invited some friends to join us for a hiking trip to Havasupi Falls, which is in the Grand Canyon. We entered the Canyon descending down a steep one mile series of switchbacks to a sandy stream bed that opened up eleven miles later into a spacious area with trees, beautiful horses and houses. At the end of the stream bed we passed through a village where the Havasupi Indians make their home. It was extremely remote, but overwhelmingly beautiful.
Soon after we had started down the trail, my feet began to hurt and I was overwhelmed by sharp, shooting pains that ran all the way to my knees. There wasn’t anywhere to sit comfortably so I thought the one mile down to a flatter spot couldn’t do too much damage.
When we finally stopped I took off my boots only to discover a series of small bloody holes in both my socks. Apparently the person who recently re-soled my boots used nails that were too long and they punctured my feet. Needless to say my feet caused me a great deal of misery for quite a while because of my foolishness.
I’ll have to admit as painful as that trip was I would never trade that fantastic weekend for anything. Thank God I had a pair of flip flops to wear, but I will admit they are not very good for hiking. I will never go on a hike again without checking to make sure my footwear is comfortable. What if I had checked my boots before the hike? I’m certain it would have been an even better trip if I had prepared a little more thoroughly.
Fortunately we don’t have to learn everything the hard way. What if there was a guide to life that would help us prepare for what lies ahead? The Bible doesn’t get real specific about preparing for a hike but it does tell us what we need to know about life and eternal matters.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light for my path.” And Psalm 23:2-4 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His names sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
What if we took God’s love letter to us more seriously?