Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hiking in the darkness by flashlight

Wednesday AM (8-mile hike)

I hesitated hiking as early as I did this morning, and the thought of backing out crossed my mind for a bit as I parked at the trail head. It was partly due to the cold, ice being on my car windows still after 15 minutes of “defrosting.” But even more than that, I knew I would be in darkness for over half an hour before the sun came up—not my favorite condition for hiking. There is nothing unmanly about being afraid, but I think a man should face his fears bravely and well prepared for the worst case scenarios. Unfortunately, I still consider myself to be “in the process” of becoming a man.

I figured I had prepared the best I could: hat, gloves, knife, flashlight, coffee,...and Bible (never leave home without it!), so I started on my trek. I was quite surprised at the amount of light put off by the night sky. Even with a crescent moon, I didn’t really need a flashlight to see the trail. But lets face it, the unknown is down-right scary. At one point, I smelled something that made me think, “Bear!” Now, I know “they” say bears don’t live in these parts, but “they” could be wrong... Now that I think about it, it could have been Bigfoot I was smelling.

Thankfully, there weren’t too many spooky noises (spooky noises in the dark momentarily stop your heart, and a person can only take so much of that). I spotted a couple bats and owls, but that was about it.
I was still glad I took a flashlight, though. It provided some comfort as well as saved me from stepping in coyote poo a time or two.
When I got to the turnaround point (a picnic table where I sit to read the Bible and sip some coffee), I read from Psalm 119:105:

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

As Christians, we are the temple of the Holy Ghost. He dwells in us and provides us with just enough faith to illuminate our path. But the unknown sure is scary and situations arise that demand a little more light. Thank God for His Word, “a Light unto (our) path.” We need to stay in it in this dark world.

Needless to say, although the “lesser lights” of the night provided some light, and my flashlight revealed some of what was unknown, it sure was a joyful thing to see the light of the sun come up over the trail.
One day, we will pass from this world, and the Bible tells us that we will need no light, for He is the Light. What a joyful day that will be!

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