Friday PM. (Did not hike on trail today, but I walked door-to-door for about 2 hours handing out church invitations and tracts)
"Praise Ye The Lord, The Almighty, the King of Creation. Oh my soul praise Him for He is my health and salvation..."
Several weeks ago, when I really began my regular hikes on the Prairie Spirit Trail, I found myself singing out this old hymn. About 3 miles out, I sat down on the trail, sipped some coffee, chomped on an apple, and read some Psalms from the Bible. I prayed a bit, and then, on my way back I could not help but burst out singing (I apologize to the birds that had to endure) this lovely hymn.
I knew very little of the verse other than the line I wrote above, and I didn't know the author's name or the year of the work or anything. So, when I got to my office that morning, very much mindful of the "spiritual moment" I had on the trail, I looked up a book Then Sings My Soul by Robert J. Morgan. This book tells the story of old hymns and the authors that wrote them. The author of the song I had been singing was Joachim Neander, 1650. Morgan told the story about how Neander got the inspiration for the hymns he wrote...can you guess how?
Morgan called them "Spiritual Walks" and told how Neander would go on long hikes on his favorite trail--a valley now known as "Neanderthal Valley" (named after the pastor that wrote this song. It is also where the bones were found of what they now refer to as "Neanderthal Man"...but that is another story).
It just seemed such a coincidence that my soul would sing out the same song that was written by a man who was probably doing the same thing I was when he wrote it. God is good, and He deserves all the glory and praise we could ever give Him!