Conversations on the Trail

My Son, his two daughters and I, went on a backpacking hike over the weekend. My ten year old granddaughter and I were discussing our salvation experiences and I mentioned that after I was baptized as a child, I was not taught about the Holy Spirit in our church. My granddaughter interrupted asking, “How is it possible that they were even a church?” I marveled at the perception of her words and her recognition of the Holy Spirit’s importance.

That night in camp, I asked her about school and if she had studied History. She replied, “I took a class in American history and it stopped at George Washington.” I asked her to repeat that, thinking I missed something, she did, and it hit me as the funniest statement – we shared a long deep laugh. Later, she explained that Covid-19 had caused the class to be canceled in progress.

On the trail we met an old lady who was hiking and quite winded as she was finishing a long ascent; we paused and swapped bear stories. Later, that night around the campfire we recalled the lady’s reference to bears in the area. After a lot of talk, I made one comment, “I truly believe in my heart that it is not God’s will for any of us to be mauled by bears.” To my surprise, that ended the bear discussion. After we returned home, I remembered that King David, as a shepherd boy, encountered bears and lions. 

“Saul replied, ‘You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.’ But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.’ Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the Lord be with you’ ” (1 Samuel 17:33-37). David had great faith in God and it was tried, tested and proven in life circumstances.

I shared with my Granddaughters that for many years I have always counted how many men and women we meet on the trail and it is usually almost even. They didn’t find this unusual at all, as they love many outdoor activities and their father takes them biking, camping, hiking and fishing. They enjoyed watching the tally fluctuate and it worked out to be twenty men and twenty women. “Its true”, I said, “women love to hike, even backpacking overnight.”

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