So for this month's Ten on the Tenth ... here are a few observations I've made while hiking over the last few weeks. Some of these thoughts are a little more profound than others ...
1. "You are here" signs on a trail have absolutely no meaning to me.
2. Men hike faster than women. Especially when the women are talking the whole time. This is our usual view.
3. The first few times I hiked, I realized that I had a tendency to hike with my eyes on the trail. I didn't want to step on a loose rock and twist my ankle, or brush up against my nemesis, poison ivy. But if I keep my eyes on the trail all the time, I miss the beauty around me. I don't see the big picture and I miss out on things like this ...
I have a tendency to do that in life, too ... focusing on just the narrow little area immediately around me ... and when I do that, I sure do miss out on a lot of good stuff.
4. Hiking is easier with a friend. The other day, Brad and I went hiking together on a trail that we had previously hiked with the Browns. As I huffed and puffed my way up the incline, I asked him, "Are you sure this is the same trail we hiked with the Browns? I don't remember it being this hard!" "Of course it is!" he replied, and I realized that when I'm hiking with my friend Janice, nothing seems as hard. So thankful for those God-given friends along life's journey!
5. Water is essential while hiking. I'm not much of a water drinker normally, but I carry my water bottle while hiking and take regular sips. But I sure get tired of carrying that bottle around. One day we won't have to carry water bottles anymore ... "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Mmmmm ... can't wait.
6. MapMyRun is a nifty little app. Sure is encouraging to hear that lady call out every mile you've completed and nothing makes you want to hike faster than hearing that her telling you what your split time is.
7. Referring back to #3, I've noticed that if I look too far ahead down the trail, I can get discouraged. This is especially true when we're climbing up a steep incline. If it goes up, up, up as far as I can see, I suddenly become a lot more tired, my feet start dragging, and pretty soon I'm ready to give up. If I concentrate on conquering a little bit at a time, I do much better.
8. Maybe because it's been so hot lately, the gnats and mosquitos on the trail have been vicious. Why is it that they want to buzz right in front of your eyes and in your ears? And no amount of swatting can drive them away. Reminds me of all the things that distract us along our daily walk, not to mention the relentless attacks of Satan that can wear us down.
9. I know better than to go hiking alone. If I did, I would probably never find my way home (See #1). I might spend days wandering Deaf Chief Trail. (Yes, there really is a Dead Chief Trail.) Those trails go off in all kinds of different directions. I need a guide to keep me on the right trail. Just like in real life.
10. Hiking is more fun when there is the promise of a reward. It could be a beautiful view ...
or an ice cream cone at the end of the hike. And these rewards can't even begin to compare with what awaits us at the end of our life's hike! Hmmmm ... I wonder what the view is like from Heaven?