I love to walk and hike and The Appalachian Trail has been a long-time favorite locale for adventure, so this year found me leaving Springer Mountain in Georgia headed north up the trail. My plan was to end up in Maine, through all 14 states of the trail, and its 2,192 miles, enjoying lots of the side trails on the way. I’d been on the trail four other years, so I had a good sense of the physical challenges and scenic highlights of this trek, but there were in addition three specific personal objectives I targeted. This is an account of how God fulfilled one of those ambitions.
Deuteronomy 10:12 asks:
“What does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
I would have seven or eight months hiking, and I wanted to learn how to better walk in the ways of God. I was looking forward to lots of time reading the Word, meditating on God’s ways, and opening my heart to Him in prayer. I did have wonderful times of scripture study, and I treasured the hours I had to meditate on the greatness of God’s creation and love, but my prayer life became a disconcertingly uncomfortable and unproductive experience.
"More than the 10,600 photos I took, or the multiple shoes I wore out, the joy of quieting my own talk so that I could hear Him was the greatest outcome of this adventure."
In the first couple months of my hike I had a well-organized prayer list and could spend a couple hours a day praying as I walked. God was just not ready for me to walk with Him this way. He kept trying to insert His way into my walk and prayer, and I kept ignoring it.
Finally, God got to the point: He wanted me to listen so that He could talk to me. I had been hogging the conversation, and He had lots of things to tell me. If we were to walk together, He wanted me to speak less and listen much more. But I was persistent in my attempts to pray to God my way, and it took me additional weeks to finally get His message, and He had to be very direct: SHUT UP AND LET ME TALK!
The remaining months of my hike were transformed by a real, continual joyful and loving conversation with God. There was so much He wanted to tell me that occasionally I’d need to stop to take notes so that I didn’t forget messages. My prayer time was a continuous time during the whole day and was a real two-way conversation as we walked together. The burdens of my heart could be poured out to Him as we talked, and I came to know so many previously unobserved aspects of Christ that deepened and broadened our friendship, and my love for my savior.
More than the 10,600 photos I took, or the multiple shoes I wore out, the joy of quieting my own talk so that I could hear Him was the greatest outcome of this adventure. I hope to keep growing and deepening the conversation over my years.
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (PS 46:10)
We are excited to announce that we will have an in-person worship service outside at 8:30am in the MCC parking lot! We can’t wait to see you! In addition, our Sunday live-stream (on Facebook and Instagram) will move to 10:00am for the foreseeable future for those who are not be able to join us.
We’ve chosen for our service to happen outdoors as there are still a number of requirements and protocol for indoor gatherings. So, we are not inviting you to join us indoors at this time. Instead, come for our outdoor gathering, or continue to join us online later from home.
Please read the Guidelines for Gathering to Worship Together at MCC in its entirety so that you know what to expect when you come to our outdoor service. This will help you and those around you navigate a very new situation, hopefully in a way that is as seamless as possible. We believe that our unity will be expressed and strengthened as we serve one another in Christ this week so join us in extending grace to each other, amid our differing perspectives, and different views about how to live in this time.
“... submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
“Outdo one another in showing honor.”
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
Please know that we are making every effort for this gathering to be in full compliance with the protocols given by authorities. No single plan for our meeting will ever be the perfect solution in any one person’s eyes. We will all be making compromises. But as we defer to these guidelines set up by our elders and leadership, we will be serving our fellow believers, honoring Christ as best we can, and providing for a beautiful expression of worship to happen together.
Please stay home if any of the following apply to you:
- You are immunocompromised.
- You are feeling ill (running a fever, coughing, or showing other signs of sickness)
Please don’t put yourself or others at risk. Thank you for staying home and staying safe, because we love you!