Remain on the path

Published 10:00 am Sunday, November 6, 2022

Hi, all. Just a thought to help start your weekend.

We were able to explore some of the southwest United States very recently, and there are no words to describe the beauty of it all. Pictures won’t, and can’t, do it justice, but I shall try to share some anyway. The weather was beautiful, and while my wife had a conference to attend, I spent some time riding and roaming.

This particular spot is just outside Phoenix, Arizona. While I was not decked out in any half-way official climbing gear or such thing, I did my best with what I had. I headed up this particular trail up and around the back side of this mountainous rock formation, all the while watching exactly where I was placing every step. Loose rocks were plentiful, and I didn’t want to wind up rolling into any cactus, regardless of how beautiful they were.

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Along this dry dusty path is posted the sign you see here — “Please Stay On Improved Trails.” This was much easier read than followed, as many of the trails look no different than the surrounding countryside, except for the large rocks along the path.

I was walking a path that was the same color, texture, and design as the rest of the land around it. I stumbled over rocks and climbed others just as big as the ones I was directed to avoid. I climbed higher than I ever intended to, but after driving some of the roads we had traveled in Colorado, this was nothing!

But it’s the traveling that can get us into trouble if we aren’t careful. The scenery of this old world can’t be put into words. The paths aren’t always straight, obvious, or “improved.” The surrounding lands provide beautiful views but extremely large cactus plants that can cause great misery and pain. So I remain on the path. My road my not be easy, and my rocks may be just as difficult to climb as those for the lost man, but the difference is what I will find on the other side!

As you travel the rocky paths of your week ahead, watch where you put your feet, be aware of your surroundings at all times, and ‘please stay on improved trails’ as much as possible. Others are watching where you walk.

Just a thought.

’Til later.

Rev. Brad Campbell can be reached at