Hiking with Mountain Goats! Part 1

Originally Posted by Mike Young June 2011

Our family enjoys outdoor adventures. At least that’s what I kept telling myself as I followed Tim and Ben on our first ever overnight backpacking adventure. We tackled the Three Ridges loop in the George Washington National Forest this past Sunday-Monday. The trip was fun, exciting and adventurous but I’m still sore… and it’s now Wednesday!

I told Stacy that hiking with them was like hiking with mountain goats. As an older, fatter guy with a history of knee injuries and a 35 lb. pack on my back, I was taking my time with every step…especially the uphill and downhill ones. But Tim and Ben, 15 and 10, and carrying 22+ and 15+ lb packs were hopping over trees and racing up hills. They left me in the dust and then stopped to take photos and video of me coming up the hills.

It was another one of those memorable adventures.

  • We made Jello pudding and chilled it in a Ziploc bag in the creek.
  • We ate beef jerky and trail mix.
  • We enjoyed majestic vistas.
  • We watched deer near our campsite.
  • We talked with thru-hikers who had been on the AT for months.
  • All three of us slept in a 2-man backpacking tent with our gear while it rained.
  • We had wonderful conversations in camp and at rest stops…

But I also had plenty of solitude as I brought up the rear. I thought about many things that I may share with you in coming weeks but one of my first thoughts was that this journey of 14.5 miles up and down hills across rocks started with one step.

Some of the steps along the way were pretty tough but the first one is always the hardest and most important.

I’m convinced that most of us guys know of a couple of things we should be doing or could be doing as godly men. We know what to do. We even know how to do it. But, if the first step is never taken, the journey will never get started and will certainly never finish.

So men, here’s a challenge for you. What ‘first step’ do you need to take this week? Do you need to read God’s Word? Pray? Take your wife on a date? Get her some flowers? Spend some time with your child(ren)? Call an old friend? Forgive someone? Ask for forgiveness? _______________?

A Chinese philosopher once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Solomon, the wisest man in history said, The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9.

Here’s the deal… if you pick up your foot and take a step, God will get you where He wants you to be!

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