Hiking The Trail

John Cyr

A couple weeks ago, my wife and I spent a couple days hiking on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in parts of North Carolina.  The Appalachian trail starts at Springer Mt, Georgia and weaves its way north for 2,192 miles finally ending on the top of Mt. Katahdin in Maine.  The trail is marked by white 2” x 6” blazes which are painted on trees, rocks, roads, bridges, and buildings while traversing through 14 states.  While the trail is well-marked, there are places where the hiker needs to be careful and attentive to make sure he or she is heading in the right direction.  The AT intersects many trails as it weaves its way through the Appalachian mountains and it can be easy to mistakenly get on the wrong trail.  Also, there have been cases of hikers who have wandered off the trail for different reasons and lost their sense of direction and ended up getting lost.  Some have even died.  Even during the short hikes my wife and I took, there were a few places that we had to stop and look for the white blaze to make sure we were heading in the right direction and staying on the right path.

In our world today, there are many paths that are presented to us.  Some paths may be wide and worn down by the many people that have taken them.  Others may be overgrown, narrow, and hard with very few people taking them.   Many paths promise us happiness, fortune, self-realization, and the desires of our heart.  How do we know which path is the right one for us and will get us to the right destination?  As Christians, our guidebook and trail map is the Bible.  God’s Word provides the ‘white blazes’ for us to follow as we hike through our lives here on Earth.  The path may be narrow and difficult at times, but we are assured that God is with us during those steep climbs and will get us to our destination.  We will be tempted by paths that head in different directions but we will end up lost and disappointed if we take them.

I would encourage you, as you hike through your life, to follow the trail as defined in the Scriptures.  Keep your eyes on Jesus and follow Him!

Proverbs 4:25-27: “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.  Make level paths for your feet, and take only ways that are firm.  Do not swerve to the right or to the left; keep your foot from evil.”

Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Jeremiah 6:16: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it.”A

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