Have you ever heard of Keith Drury? He teaches at Indiana Wesleyan and every summer he goes on an adventure. Sometimes he goes alone, sometimes with his wife, often with students. It is tiring just to read about his adventures. He has hiked trails in America, Scotland, Greece and Turkey, rode bikes, paddled streams, last summer he even took a moped tour of the Smokies. Here’s a link if you don’t believe me.
I have a friend whose name is Bill Newman. A very interesting guy. He lives on an Island in northern Michigan. Last summer he was telling me of an all-night drive when he pulled his car off the road to watch an display of the Northern Lights. It’s always fun to talk to Bill. He has an obvious passion for God and a love for life and nature.
This summer my son Chuck is planning to join him in Vermont to hike a section of the Appalachian Trial. A couple years ago Bill took six months off to pursue a life-long dream of Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain Georgia over two thousand miles to Katadin in Maine. He has a story to tell of people he met and things he saw. He describes beautiful mountain vistas, waterfalls in the mountains and wildlife. His greatest impression on the wilderness trail was about people though.
I once read a humorous book about the AT by Bill Bryson. In it he tells of another Appalachian Trail Through-Hiker whose name is Michael Horton, an ultra-runner who set the speed record for the Appalachian Trial in 1990. Mike was able to travel the length of the trail in only fifty-two days. He ran an average of eleven hours a day, over thirty-five miles a day. But by his own account, he was a mental and emotional wreck and spent most of the period crossing Maine weeping copiously. (Bryson; “A Walk in the Woods.”).
We are each Thru-Hiking the trail of life. There are people to meet. There are things to see. There are creatures of beauty and wonder hidden to those who are in a hurry.
I have some simple advice. Slow down. Look around. Pay attention to the beauty and drama of life around you. You don’t have to spend a lot of money and travel a long way away. There is life all around you if you take time and pay attention.
Chose from the following options as your assignment for the day.
Look long into your lover’s eyes today.
Look long into your child’s eyes today.
Take a little one on your lap a slowly read a picture book.
Take a slow walk with a child and observe growing things and living things.
Sit down in a favorite chair and enjoy some tea and good music.
Take a walk and spend some time talking to the Lord.
Listen to the birds
Watch your cat listen to the birds.
Turn your television off until next fall.
Maybe someday you will have your own fascinating adventures and talk about.