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Intersection of Life and Faith

Take a Hike!

  • Whitney Hopler Live It Editor
  • 2002 3 May
Take a Hike!
There's something special about taking a hike. Walking outdoors through God's creation often fosters a deeper sense of His presence. Whether you're exploring a meadow or a mountain, a forest or a desert, God will meet you there. Your walk through nature can become a valuable part of your spiritual walk as well.

Here are some ways you can discover spiritual truths while hiking:

  • Rely on God's strength rather than your own. You may encounter challenging circumstances such as storms, wild animals, exhausting climbs, etc. on a hike. But God has the power to help you overcome any challenges, whether on a hike or in life in general.

  • Remember that many people have gone before you on the trail. Take time to hear the stories of people who have walked through life before you, and think about what lessons they learned that can help you in the present.

  • Plan your route. This is important whether you're mapping out a hiking destination or seeking God's will about decisions throughout your life. Then act on the guidance you receive, which may only be enough for you to take the next step forward. Remember that God promises to always be with you, guiding your steps.

  • Check regularly to make sure you're on course. If you've left the right trail or made a wrong decision, you can always find your way back with God's help. Confess your sins, repent of them, and receive God's grace to travel in a new and better direction.

  • Savor the beauty around you, and notice how it reflects the glory of God, who made it. When you're not hiking, read the Bible and savor the beauty of Scripture, which also reflects God's glory. Both the nature and Scripture show God's incredible creativity.

  • Offer kindness to other people who share the trails with you. Be willing to help whenever you're needed. It may not be convenient, but it will prove valuable to do so.

  • Thank God for the many ways He has provided for you. The temporary deprivations of sleeping on a cold, hard ground or eating backpack food help give you a fresh perspective on the blessings you usually enjoy.

  • Take time out to rest on a regular basis. Escape from distractions that hinder your ability to sense God's presence with you.

  • If you're weighed down by carrying too heavy a load, lighten your burden. You can walk more freely on hikes when you pack less, and you can walk more freely in life when you surrender your will to God's will in life.

Adapted from With God on the Hiking Trail, copyright 2002 by Nathan Chapman. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or. Buy this book online by clicking on the link below.

Nathan Chapman is an experienced outdoorsman and dedicated backpacker. An musician and songwriter, he performs with his wife and has recorded numerous CDs. He currently works in the publishing field.

Do you like to hike? If so, why? Have you recently taken an enjoyable hike? If so, how did that experience bless you? Did it draw you closer to God, and if so, how? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic: