You have to hike before you HIKE

When is a walk more than a walk?  “This is REAL”

Hiking is not walking. Let’s get real for a minute and understand what 90% of the general population doesn’t understand.  Hiking in general, and long distance hiking for certain, is not the same as walking or even jogging 10 miles around the track at the high school, through the neighborhood, in the local park or along city sidewalks. Hiking in the wilderness is strenuous. There is this thing called elevation change that will quickly take your legs, your breath and your enthusiasm and tear all three to shreds like so much paper in the floor with a new puppy.  To put this in perspective, think climbing Albert Mountain on the AT. This is an 800 foot elevation gain in less than .3 of a mile. Doesn’t sound too bad you say? Okay, now imagine climbing an 90 story building with no elevator, only stairs. This just got real. You can’t fake this climb. You either do it or you don’t.  As we say in the vernacular, “This is where you embrace the suck”.

Have you ever had to do something really physically hard?  What was it? Other than tired, how did you feel after you finished the task? Did you finish the task?

Hiking is a lot of things all balled up into one. There is elation, joy, success, pain, suffering, failure, hope, disappointment, anger, love and a hundred other descriptive terms experienced over the course of a long distance hike. Often all in the same day. However, it can all be summed up in one way. It is REAL. There is no faking the hike. You either do it or you don’t. There are those who will take short cuts. Blue blazing is a term that denotes following a blue blazed path marking a side trail or alternate trail. Many times these will bypass hard sections of the true path, the white blazed trail. Then there is the yellow blaze which denotes the use of roads to skip or bypass hard sections of the trail, invoking the yellow dividing line on most roads.

The walk of a Christian man or woman is REAL. There is elation, joy, success, pain, suffering, failure, hope, disappointment, anger, love and a hundred other descriptive terms experienced over the course of a lifetime with Christ. Often all in the same day. However, it can’t be faked. I know what you are thinking. “I see fake Christians every day”.  On this point you are right, but only to a point.  In the words of that modern philosopher Taylor Swift, fakers are gonna fake, fake, fake, but the one person they can’t fake out is God.  You can take short cuts on a hike, or fake what you are attempting to do but you will be found out. Numbers 32: 20-23 “So Moses said to them, “If you will do this, if you will take up arms to go before the LORD for the war, and every armed man of you will pass over the Jordan before the LORD, until he has driven out his enemies from before him and the land is subdued before the LORD; then after that you shall return and be free of obligation to the LORD and to Israel, and this land shall be your possession before the LORD. But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out.”  Moses is telling them that God has given the people (Isreal) a task to do. If they complete it – God’s provision. If they don’t – slavery.

Being real with God is so deeply important. I’ll say it again, If you really believe what you say you believe, it will affect what you do. It will affect what you say, what you do, how you live and how you hike (walk through life). It’s no sin to have a bad day, for those in Christ. Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” You and I WILL fail, fall and disappoint God. We have to be willing to get up, try again, and see ourselves as God see us. God loves you even when you fail. This is what being His child is all about. However, it is a dangerous thing to pretend to be something you have no intention of being.

I know and truly believe that God loves me and gave His Son for me.  Yes    /   No

 I will make a commitment to be REAL with God, myself and others about my walk with Him.   Yes    /    No.

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