A meaningful hike

Published 8:00 am Sunday, June 18, 2023

We were certain that we weren’t lost; we just didn’t know exactly where we were. The hike to Bell Rock wasn’t on the difficult list, but it did meander in and around the base of Bell Rock before leading us to the heights. It would be OK — we kept assuring each other.

Somewhere we had taken a wrong turn or not heeded the stone markers meant to assist the hikers. We both remembered the wide, stone creek bed that took all the work out of our hiking trail. Perhaps that was where we got off the winding path and stepped onto the welcoming, smooth path. We couldn’t remember.

We stopped amid the terrain of scrubby trees, rocks and cacti, hoping to see a worn path or the familiar markers, but all paths and markers had seemed to be swallowed up by the remoteness of our present location. Othel, wanting to assure me that this was not a serious matter so close to civilization, reminded me that we had followed the trail with Bell Rock to our left. If we kept hiking with Bell always to our left, we would come out to a trail that would lead us to our original trail. That made sense to me.

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Our pursuit of a worn path continued as we scanned the massive area for anything that might steer us to the hiking trail. Suddenly Othel said, “Listen!” I heard it, too — voices — other hikers hopefully following the correct trail. We looked in all directions and finally saw two hikers in the distance. They were making a steady assent. There was our lifeline!

We turned our attention to getting to where they were. I was grateful that there wasn’t a gulch or a row of prickly cacti impeding our trek to our highly sought trail. Within minutes, we were back on the worn path with markers at intervals that we were quick to heed.

It was an abbreviated anxious moment for me -nothing like stories of lost hikers surviving for days off the land. I didn’t once think about trying to harvest cactus juice or scream for help. However I did see how our experience correlated with spiritual matters.

God has marked out the path of life for His children through His Word and direction from the Holy Spirit. We must pay attention to the “markers” He’s given us, remembering that many follow the broad road (our creek bed) that leads to destruction, but narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Keeping our eyes focused on our goal will keep us straying from the path He’s designed for us. When we lose sight of our Father, it’s easy to go astray. If and when we recognize our lost condition, we need to listen for the voices of ones that have gone before us. They are all around us and will help guide us to the narrow way that leads to eternal life.

Bell Rock was a meaningful hike.

Letters to Camille Anding may be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602.