“What are you looking forward to most about the hike?”
This is one of numerous questions I’ve been asked in recent months. I’m sure all the hikers have noticed that what we’re doing is attracting a bit of attention. Other questions have been more incredulous in nature – like, “How far is it?”, “What do you want to do that for?” and, “Do you have to carry everything yourself?” Nevertheless, it seems there is some genuine intrigue surrounding what we are doing.
There are many things about this hike that I’m looking forward to. The opportunity to put our training into action in a challenging environment, the spectacular scenery and spending time in the company of a group of high quality men are all good enough reasons to go. I’m also excited about getting back into an enjoyable pastime that I’ve neglected for too long.
But the essence of hiking for me is its simplicity. You walk to your chosen destination, exposed to the elements and carrying what you need to survive. Possessions are minimal and are measured in kilograms (hopefully less than twenty-five), not tonnes or acres. Priorities are food and shelter. Other things, which are important at home, are unimportant in the wilderness. There is more time to think, without the distraction of high-tech gadgets. Conversations around the campfire seem more honest and real.
I’m looking forward to the inspiration which such an experience can bring. Perhaps it will also be a timely reminder that God calls us to be less concerned with our possessions and comforts, and more invested in His mission.