Posted by: pastortomvabeach | December 4, 2016

Thought for the Week December 4, 2016

Guest Blogger, Pastor Doug Crabb sitting in for Pastor Tom this week.

Just a couple of weeks ago, my wife Jean and I returned from hiking in Shenandoah National Park <https://www.nps.gov/shen/index.htm&gt;. Hiking is one of our favorite things to do and we are blessed to have this National Park so close to us.

I want to talk a little about preparation for the hike and what you can expect.

Prior to the actual hike, we spend considerable time studying our hiking books for the selected area, even if this is a familiar trail to us. We look at the illustration of the hiking route, noting the color assigned to the trail, trail markers, and other information. We read the description of that trail so that we will have an idea of what to expect, what level of experience is required, what the terrain will be like, etc. We discuss possible trouble spots and things to look for. All of this combined helps to provide us with a picture of hiking this trail before we actually do.

In addition, we take two very important pieces of gear on the trail with us: (1) a copy of the trail map (and/or take the book with us) and (2) a portable GPS (Global Positioning System). While on the trail, we have them to “check our bearings”, i.e., are we going the right direction, how far to our next turn, do we go left or right.

After arriving at the parking area, you proceed to the beginning of the trail called the “Trail Head”. Most of the really popular or “well traveled” trails will have an information board with a description about the trail(s) and what to expect (warnings, possible animals, habitat, elevation, and of course illustration of the trail, duration, length of time to complete, things to see, etc). Jean and I will take a few moments to study this information before heading out (even though we have already prepared) as there may be some new information.

On the trail itself, you will find a couple of important things: (1) concrete post(s) with a metal band around the top that provide information about what is coming up, (distance to next turn, name of trail, etc), (2) visual trail markers “blazes” usually eye height, periodically down the trail on trees or rocks that help you to know you are on the correct trail (white, red, yellow, blue, orange). By the way, if the trail blaze color is white you know it will be interesting, because it is part of the Appalachian Trail <https://www.nps.gov/appa/index.htm&gt;.

Okay, let’s bring this thought to us, right here, right now…

As we “hike” through this life, we need a “trail map and GPS” to help us navigate, to provide us with information that we need in order to know about what to expect on the “trail” and what to look for.

We call this very important “piece of gear” The Bible.

The Author of the Bible, God, encourages us to study His Word, to be prepared… get a picture of what is ahead, before we head out into the day, take it with us as we go… look at it to “check our bearings”.

“Your word is a lamp for my steps; it lights the path before me.” (Ps. 119:105, VOICE)

Have you checked your “trail map and GPS” today?


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