Trail signs

Trail signs

Originally uploaded by jon.swanson

We’re all traveling somewhere, somehow. Most of us wonder whether this is the right path, whether this is really the way we are supposed to be going. There are curves, there are roughs spots, there are long climbs.

And hopefully, there are trail markers.

This is a trail marker on the Appalachian trail, a trail that runs from Georgia to Maine. I’ve heard about for a long time, but until this week, I had never set foot on it. We hiked for just a short way. Our real goal was the top of a hill. But our path and the trail were the same for this way. And so, I have now been on the trail.

It was a quietly exciting thing. I know thousands of people have hiked the trail. I know that people know it well. I know that, unlike the first people to do various climbs and dives and other exploits, there is nothing ‘first’ about this trail. Except it was a first for me.

I’m living my life for the first time. And for the only time. There are many parts of this path that other people have been on. Other people have been dads and husbands. Other people have been pastors and bloggers and readers and sleepers. Other people have known God more and longer and deeper and more profoundly.

So what.

If I have any sense at all, I will acknowledge that they have learned things that I can learn. They have blazed trails that I can follow. They have left trail signs that can help me along.

And so, on to living. Other people know what was over that ridge for them. But I need to find out for myself. Because I need to live this life, following the marks, one section, one step, one climb at a time.

With me?


2 responses to “Trail signs

  1. Your post is a good reminder that, even if we’re walking it on the same road as someone else, seeing the same curves, the same trail markers, our individual trips will not look like anyone else’s–not even the person we’re walking it with–since we’re each looking through a different set of eyes, each backed up by a unique heart and set of prior experiences. The implication of that for me is that I should not be too quick to compare or critique another’s “travelogue”. Instead, I should let that other one’s journey enrich and inform my own. I can learn and gain from places they have been without going there myself–without need to or without desiring too. Or, the account of the journey may be so compelling that I must see and experience it too. Does this all mean that we should view God as our Divine Travel Agent?

  2. Edit: “…without needing to or without desiring to.”…sorry…