Tuesday, January 10, 2017

walking through the woods on a snowy afternoon

On Sunday I had been cooped up indoors all day, so I decided to go for a walk around camp. Curiosity got the best of me when I saw a pair of footsteps heading down a path into the woods. Not knowing where it would lead me, I continued along the path already set by another person.

I could tell that they weren't brand new, because the bottoms of the prints had already iced over, but they couldn't be too old either, since it had just snowed the day before.

I followed, not knowing what I would find, but ready for the adventure.

The quest lead me on a several mile walk over multiple ridges and valleys though camp property few ever get to see. It was beautiful. There was a quite and stillness about the woods, other than the crunch of my boots stepping into the powdery snow. 

If it hadn't been for those footsteps, I would have been completely lost. I take that back, I was completely and utterly lost in the woods, but thanks to the footprints in the snow, I had a lifeline back to reality if I needed to turn around.

Not all of it was easy. Certain sections went through briars and through bushes, but the footsteps kept on going.

At times, I almost did turn around and go back to the comfort of familiar sights. There were moments when I was utterly terrified. What would I do if I ran into a bear that's not hibernating (do all bears hibernate?) 

As I walked I saw a great many new and strong things, old animal shelters in an overgrown part of the woods. 

I came across a cabin deep in the woods with a swirl of smoke coming from the chimney and my heart may have started racing, just a tiny bit. What if I ran into someone not so friendly? 

What did I learn from the walk? 

God calls us along a path. It's the path that is often less followed and takes us into the deepest woods, completely out of our comfort zone. 

But he's paved the path before us. 

He directs every step.

"Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me." -Ps, 23:4

When I put my own agenda aside in following his footsteps, he takes me to places I would never have dreamed of going on my own. 

There is joy in letting go and following him!

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart
         And do not lean on your own understanding. 

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
         And He will make your paths straight." -Prov 3:5-6

(As it turns out that several of the camp guys followed the trail trying to spot a male buck they'd seen on their hunting camera.)

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