a mountain hike

On Thanksgiving day I was able to do something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time with my boys. We were on my family’s property on Lookout Mountain and we headed out on an adventure hike. We walked through the woods past ponds and streams, down ravines and all over the property. My mom even went with us to take it all in as well. Towards the end of our hike she remarked from the back (of course I was running ahead with my boys) that I walked like my Uncle David. I think she knew that this would be a huge compliment for me as my uncle is someone I have always admired. Mostly in large part due to the fact that he is the closest tie I have to my grandfather who passed away when my mom was seven. So in a way, she was basically saying that I walk like my grandfather.*

And then there is the time I tried to scare one of my students at a camp late one night in a game of capture the flag. I was pretty sure walking through the shadows would keep me well disguised and then the student just called out, “Hey Pastor Andrew.” I later asked how the student knew it was me and their reply, “oh, I knew it was you by your walk”. I was kind of floored that my walk was something that identified me so easily.

But don’t we all in some way want to be identified by our walk? And even when we don’t so often those who follow after walk in our footsteps regardless. The book of 1 John helps us to understand how important it is to walk in The Way. Chapter 1:6-7 says, “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” I love the contrast of dark and light. Ever try to walk into a dark room and not step on a lego or hit your toe on something? It just makes sense to walk in the light because you can see where you are going…and others see where you are going as well.

Now think about this: others can see where you are walking and 1 John tells us that walking in the light grants us fellowship with each other and purifies our lives from sin. And if our walk is that which purifies us from sin and creates unity in the body, what a path we are blazing for those who come after us! Our very existence as the Church is ultimately dependent on our individual walks! That’s a lot to take in…

But enjoy your mountain hikes and always think about those who are watching you walk. And realize each moment is made for us to walk in the light.

* There is also the story where I was in church in Nashville unknowingly sitting with a friend of my grandfather who after hearing me sing and turning around to see me she asked if I was Garland’s grandson…

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