What's the Point?

Jason and I were invited to go hiking yesterday with his parents and some long-time friends of the family.  We met in Easley and drove to Highlands, NC to meet the rest of our hiking party.  The selected hike of the day was Whiteside Mountain, a moderate two-and-a-half-mile loop that ascended and descended the peak.  When I say "moderate," I mean for people who are used to hiking regularly.  While Jason and I still do a decent amount of hiking, our hikes have become shorter, easier and slower due to Tippy's age.  This fact became very evident within the first ten minutes of the climb.

Another thing that became evident in short order was the fact that, within the group, there were two different motives for the hike.  Some were there to hike--nothing more, nothing less.  They set their sights on the trail, put their feet to the path and took off.  They stopped for nothing.  They talked little.  They noticed even less.  They just walked.

Others of us were there for the view and fellowship.  We stopped to admire the busy bees as they worked around the beautiful yellow flowers.  We explored the outcroppings and paused to hear the rippling brooks.  We chatted.  We gushed over the breath-taking views.  We commented on the fresh, cool air.  In short, we took stock of our surroundings.

I'm not saying that either way is right or wrong.  It's a matter of personality how each individual decides to tackle a hike.  In life, however, God intends for us to do more than simply walk the trail.  Yes, He wants us to finish our race, but He also wants us to find joy and peace in the journey.  He wants us to enjoy the hike. 

John 10:10 tells us, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  Did you catch that?  Jesus came to this earth so that we could do more than just "hike the path."  He came to give us the gift of the journey.  He desires for us to have not only life, but life more abundantly.  Not just the finish line, but the invigoration of the race.

Too many people today are living their lives simply going through the motions.  They wake up, go to work, come home, watch television, and go to bed.  The next day, the routine begins again.  There is no joy, no excitement.  They're "hiking the trail," but are they taking the time to appreciate their surroundings.  Do they notice the view?  Do they stop and smell the flowers?  Sure, they're enduring life, but are they enjoying it?  Better yet, are you?

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. - Psalm 118:24