Have you ever been hiking in a forest?  Usually you start at a well marked trail.  You have the proper shoes or boots on for the terrain; you have water and food, depending on how long you plan on hiking, you may have a tent and a change of clothes with you.  How do you know what to bring and what to wear?  Well you probably didn’t just show up at the head of the trail, think to yourself, ‘I think I will go down that path’.  No you probably thought, ‘I would like to go hiking’.  You researched where you wanted to hike, what the terrain is like, are the trails marked is it a populated trail or desolate.  My point here is that it started with an idea and then preparation.

So you start on the trail admiring the scenery all around you.  After a while, you deviate off of the trail a little, exploring the little creek that runs parallel to the trail.  You find a log that crosses the creek and so you cross.  As you follow the creek you see signs that someone was there before you, so you keep going.  Now it is quite and the only noises that you hear are the sounds that you are making and some birds that are chirping or singing.  You find a place where a tree has fallen and it makes a pretty good place to stop and rest.

After a brief rest you start up a hill away from the creek.  Now the hike is giving you a real workout.  There is no trail up the hill, it is just you weaving back and forth, going up ever higher.  Because this is more strenuous, you find that you are stopping more often to catch your breath and to drink more water; but every time that you stop, you admire the view that is there in front of you.  As you climb higher, the view becomes even more incredible, with more to see.  There are less trees the higher you climb, so there is less to impede your view.  Finally you reach the top of the hill or mountain and the view is just incredible.  If you are spending the night it is a great place to make your camp for the night.  If it is just a place that you are visiting, because you have other things to do…well….then you had better break out that map that you brought, so that you can find your way back to the trail and get moving in a hurry.

My point is that others have been there before you and so there is a trail and information about that trail.  You were even smart enough to bring the proper clothing and supplies, which included a map and compass, (forgot to mention that you had one of these; but every good Boy Scout usually does).  You were able to enjoy your hike, even though you didn’t stick to the trail and it was a tough climb, you were able to reap the rewards with an awesome view at the top of the hill or mountain.  Now think about your life.  Where in the hike are you, right now?

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