Last Friday, Jason and I decided to do a little hiking in Oconee County. We were heading to Yellow Branch Falls, but after missing our turn, we ended up at Isaqueena Falls. So, what did we do? We decided to see them both.
The trip out to the observation deck at Isaqueena Falls was really quite easy. However, if you wanted to actually go down to the falls, you had to descend a very steep, rocky trail. I'm talking about steep to the point of sitting on your backside and sliding at certain points. Being seasoned hikers, we were not turned off by this, and within a few minutes, we were standing at the base of the falls.
Not long after we reached the bottom, a family emerged from the trail. They were loud, to say the least. I smiled up at them, and the woman said, "Look, she wore hiking boots. Isn't she smart?" My first thought was, Duh, I'm hiking. What else would I wear? But, I was nice, and simply continued to smile at her. I kept my mouth shut as I glanced down at her footwear. Flip-flops!!!!! In fact, the whole family was wearing flip-flops. I couldn't believe it!
As we made our way up to Yellow Branch Falls, we came across a couple who were already standing at the base of the waterfall. Again, I smiled up at them, and the woman said, "You wore hiking boots. That was very smart. It's painful on my bare feet." My eyes dropped to her feet. Sure enough, she was barefoot. In her defence, she had worn tennis shoes on the trail and had only taken her shoes off so that they didn't get wet while she was around the falls. But still, what's the matter with these people?
This caused me to think about being equipped for the journey. When hiking, it is very important that you have the right gear. Water? Check. Hiking boots? Check. Insect repellant? Check. Snake anti-venom? (We still have to get that one.) First aid kit? Check. Flashlight? Check. Trail map? Check. Do we always need allthese things? No, but I'd much rather have them and not need them than to need them and not have them. A lot can happen during a hiking trip. One never knows what they may be in need of. For this reason, we never take off on a trip unless we're equipped for the journey.
Christians, are you equipped for your journey? Ephesians 6:13-17 says, Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
We are on a perilous journey, and we would be wise to make sure we are carrying all the right equipment. Flip-flops are not a good idea. Tennis shoes are fine, but hiking boots are better. God has given us a detailed description of what we need to have to be protected while on our journey. It is up to us to check each day to make sure we are prepared for the trip. Being caught without the right equipment could result in a lot more than just a few blisters. Are you wearing your armor?