[Originally published as Lessons From The Trail]
“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I be will exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10 (ESV)
Hiking in the Grand Canyon can be intimidating.
It has often been said about hiking Grand Canyon, “Down is optional, but up is mandatory.” This is so true. Like reverse mountain climbing, the adventurer descends into the earth taking in the extreme beauty.
The traveling offers smooth sailing as gravity assists the journey and thrusts the wanderer deeper into the earth. However, the time comes for the climb out. Hiking out of Grand Canyon can be quite intimidating.
Success depends upon a number of key factors
- Be prepared. Being certain the proper provisions have been secured ahead of time is vital. Once the journey has begun, it is too late to acquire what is needed.
- Eat often. Consuming adequate calories in frequent, small amounts helps more than consuming a lot of food in one sitting. Maintain a consistent input of energy without requiring the body to burn energy digesting large amounts of food.
- Drink often. Likewise, drinking small amounts frequently refreshes and stabilizes the body more than large amounts all at once. Keep a steady flow.
- Hike in intervals. Pre-determine a set amount of time to be hiked for each section of the trail. A good option allows 20 minutes for lesser inclines and 15 minutes for steeper inclines. Set the time and stick to it. Every 15 minutes stop and do 3 things for a brief 3 to 5 minutes:
- Take in the view
- Notice the beauty of the surroundings
- Take photos
- The joy is the journey
Hiking in this manner takes you farther faster without compromising the delight of the adventure. It also maximizes your health and energy.
Such purposeful hiking provides a great allegory for abundant living
Living within these same principles establishes the discipline necessary to walking the path of life.
- Be prepared. Abundant living begins with surrendering our life to Jesus and making Him Lord of our life. Christ promises His followers we have been given everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3–4). We can never discover abundant life on our own or by our individual effort. Apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5). Preparation comes through Christ.
- Eat often. Abundant living requires a steady diet of the Bread of Life. John 6 teaches us that Jesus us the bread of life. Frequent, bite size meals that can be meditated upon offer the best means of consumption. “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” (John 6:27).
- Drink often. Jesus offers living water. Drink often of the living water and it becomes a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:13–14).
- Live in intervals. “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested form all his work that he had done in creation” (Genesis 2:2–3 ESV). Commit time in every day to stop and do 3 things:
- Drink living water
- Eat the bread of life
- Take in the view
- Remember the wonders of what God has done
- See the wonders of God in the moment
- Delight in His presence, provision, and protection
Jesus came that we might have abundant life (John 10:10). Living like we are hiking takes us along the path as God establishes our steps. Our Shepherd walks along with us, so HIKE ON!