A light to my path

Published 1:00 pm Sunday, June 25, 2023

Mountains are not only a magnificent display of God’s creation, they are also a special kind of institute of higher learning! I’ve realized that first hand for the last few days as Othel and I have hiked some easy and some challenging trails.

If there are no trail markers, it’s best to avoid those trails entirely. There are many natural factors that play into trekking through unknown regions, so markers are essential to help you avoid challenges that the random hiker might not know or recognize.

Several years ago Othel and I took a hike on our own into a remote area we located on a hiking map in Sedona. An occasional breathtaking view would lead us away from the trail and take us off the mapped route. Only through God’s protection were we able to relocate the trail and the essential markers. Later that week we were discussing that hike with a local resident, and he shared how that area had been stalking ground for a mountain lion. We now appreciate markers and well-worn paths that others have left for us.

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Water is a necessary take along on a hike. Dehydration can set in and cause lots of problems. The mountain heights, heat and altitude can combine to create challenges that greatly affect a hiker’s health unless there’s adequate water intake.

Clothing is something else all hikers should understand. Layers are important due to changes in temperatures that can happen quickly in the mountains. Comfortable clothing is certainly a plus along with hiking shoes that aren’t susceptible to slipping and sliding on steep inclines.

A backpack containing snacks, extra water and flashlights is what every hiking enthusiast carries on hikes. The extra weight might not be appealing, but emergencies aren’t uncommon in the “wild.”

It’s been our experience that most hikers are extremely friendly and ready to answer any questions on or off the trail. We all enjoy the challenge of reaching our destination, which is usually at the end of a narrow and difficult climb. Fellow hikers can be a great encouragement.

Isn’t it obvious what we learned on the trails this past week? The path of life can be challenging, exhilarating, joyful, tiring, dangerous, and extremely difficult, but having drunk God’s living water, being clothed in His righteousness, following His word, and fellowshipping with other “pilgrims” will assure us of reaching our destination.

It wasn’t until this week that I actually thought about the psalmist — how he must have been a spiritual hiker who understood the importance of staying close to the trail. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light to my path.”

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