mountains

 

“Rise up, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.”

(Genesis 13:17)

 

WALKING THE TRAILS

On a recent hike on the Appalachian trail in Massachusetts, a friend of mine, exclaimed, “This is boring! Aren’t there any sights to see?” We were on a stretch of this famous route, which stretches from Springer mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. Encompassing well over two thousand miles. This stretch had no waterfalls or great vistas or flowing streams. A seven-mile stretch, that flowed over small rises and descended into valleys filled with ferns. Nothing existed on this silent path except the large green trees, rocks to avoid and a brown path. That’s all there was. A place to wander to get to the next segment.

“During our walk through life we will meet ordinary people and walk by ordinary places. In these ordinary people and places exist extraordinary stories.”

It took me back to my own professional career and reminded me of the many days and months where all I had to do was my job. Ambition always pushed me to want the next great step in my life. Just doing my job wasn’t enough. What was next for me would ramble in my mind, luring me to put my focus on the excitement of a new promotion and accomplishment. But most of my days were spent walking through these stretches of my career that were no more than just doing my job, being a faithful employee and helping my company. When we are young we are told of the great things that lie at the end of the segment of the trail we are on. We look expectedly to that future. Along the way we hope that our efforts lead to an extraordinary life. During our walk through life we will meet ordinary people and walk by ordinary places. In these ordinary people and places exist extraordinary stories. We only have to stop and observe to find them. They frame our lives, values and friendships. It is in these moments we find extraordinary things.

“Surely, Abraham would see great vistas, running streams and waterfalls. But most of his journey would be with the ordinary.”

Today’s verse is about God’s promise to Abraham. God was about to give him a land that would be the source of our great faith. But first, Abraham had to walk its entire breadth. To see the ordinary and learn about its ways. A walk where observing was more important than the finish. Surely, Abraham would see great vistas, running streams and waterfalls. But most of his journey would be with the ordinary. Jesus himself, wandered thousands of mile in his great mission to reveal God’s values to humanity. We read about his miracles and those he helped, but most of his time was walking the trails of life.

“God’s promise is an extraordinary life, when we have walked the length and breadth of His land.”

Surely, when we walk with faith and an eye towards the values of Jesus, we will see great things. But most of our walk will be in everyday life. Our careers will have those days of great success, but most days will be spent doing ordinary things. Just doing our jobs, raising our children and living a life. God’s promise is an extraordinary life, when we have walked the length and breadth of His land. Not in just what we see in the end, but in what we see along the way.

Enjoy the walk and observe all you can!

 

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

 

PARTING THOUGHTS

How often do we reflect on where we are?

How often do we wonder about the ordinary things of life and see a deeper story?

How often do we take the time to go beyond a quick hello and discover an extraordinary person?