(Posting note: This was recorded on Thursday July 12th, but I didn’t find time to edit, transcribe and post until today, Friday July 26th. And while the in the tent version today is a bit better than yesterday, I still apologize for how horrible I look. What can I say, the trail is not kind to one’s appearance!)
A blessed 14th Thursday in Ordinary Time to you and your family. I’m Deacon Ken Crawford and this is my 9th video as newly ordained deacon. You know, as I recorded this the 1st time (this is a repeat, for those of you who want to know the truth behind the series, so to speak) I couldn’t remember whether this is the 9th one. It has been such a long couple days on the trail that you start to wonder, is this still the 8th, is it the 9th, I’m not sure… so… but I’m pretty confident after doing this again, that this is indeed my 9th video. It is Thursday and I’ve recorded every day this week, plus 5 last week.
My topic for today is more about accepting the path in front of you. As I was walking along today I did something that I very frequently do on the trail, and it is particularly easy to do when it is a long day of hiking, is that you really get frustrated when the trail goes down and then goes up and then goes down and then goes up. And you’re thinking WHY? Sometime you can even see a way that the path could gone a different path and stayed more level. Personally, I can hike a lot faster on flat ground. I can go 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 miles an hour with a loaded pack on flat ground. But going downhill I’m down to about 2 miles an hour as you’re trying to watch your footing. And uphill it can go really slow. I can be down to a mile an hour. In fact, I usually judge it not so much based on distance but based on how many vertical feet I’m gaining. I think I can do usually about 800 feet an hour, or when I was in a little bit better shape 1000 feet an hour. It didn’t matter whether that was over a half mile or two miles. So it’s a lot slower doing those things that going on flat (ground). So you’re thinking, “WHY IS THIS TRAIL TORTURING ME!?! They could have just moved around that peninsula over there and I would have had to go down and up and up and up.”
And it occurred to me that I’m being way too picky. I’m blessed to have the life I have. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be on the trail with my boys. My boy Peter is sitting right here with me in the tent. (In fact, I hope you like the ‘in tent edition’. I was hoping that perhaps it would be a little bit more stable and have good video.) But it’s just such a blessed place to be. There’s wonderful scenery out there. It was a great day on the trail. And here I am spending a good third of my time obsessing about whether the trail could have been that much more perfect.
I think we do that with a lot of things in our life. We get too bogged down in minutia that by the way, we may not be right about. We may be wrong. There may be an exceptionally good reason why the trail went up and down as opposed to around the way that looks to me like a reasonably good way to go. But I didn’t actually hike over there. I don’t actually know whether that would have been good and fine. And I think this analogy applies to so many things in our lives. We get worried about the path and which way it goes and it should be and whether it is ideal as possible. We need to instead focus on, is this overall a good journey? Is this overall where God is leading us? Are we thinking about what is really important and not letting the minutia, the details, mess everything up?
That’s my thought for today. I always like to keep these short. I think I’m going to keep them doubly short on the trail because I am TIRED! We did 11 miles yesterday and it was almost all up hill, about 5500 vertical feet up. Today we did 12 miles and we did it all before 2 o’clock so that we could get to this campground and hopefully get a spot before it filled up on a Thursday of people starting to think about coming out for the weekend (which we did, thank goodness). Thank the Good Lord for that! It would have been very hard if the campground wasn’t open. So, going to keep this short. Hopefully you like the ‘in-tent edition’ better.
God bless you. God bless your families. I will pray for you. I ask that you pray for my ministries. I ask that you pray retroactively for this journey that we’re on, this backpacking trip. And God willing, I’ll be able to record one of these tomorrow. God bless.