Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)
TITLE: Happy Trails To You
By Dolores Stohler
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I’ve always felt sorry for people who thought they must climb into a car and drive wherever they went. Worse still, they may be smoking cigarettes or chatting to a friend on one of their little cell phones, unaware they may be missing out on something special. You may think me strange but I much prefer to walk to my destination whenever possible, breathing in the fresh air and talking to the Lord as I move along. My thoughts are so much clearer out in the open air and prayers go on much longer because I’m doing something I enjoy rather than striking a pious pose down on my knees and bent into a position that causes my back to ache and my knees to creak as I struggle to rise to my feet. I may be wrong, but I’ve never found a place in the Bible where it says you have to pray on your knees to be heard.
And so I follow the trails, and talk to God and listen to the songs of birds while I allow the joy to swell within me. And it happens to be that while I’m in this walking mode that I get my best ideas for stories and articles. Sometimes a poem will come to me while I’m walking, the words coming so fast they tumble over themselves in their eagerness to get out of hiding. Then I must rush home to find paper and pen before the words stop flowing. Afterwards, I stand there wondering if these are really my words at all. Perhaps the creative words of God Himself are being breathed into the ears of a rapt and willing listener.
I used to be an apartment dweller and, so dwelling, I would look for buildings bordering on or very near a park where I could find walking trails to nurture my creative muse. Once I sat near the edge of a cliff looking down on the city below and prayed aloud, glorifying my creator with praise. I’ve walked the length of sandy beaches, walked narrow trails surrounded by overhanging trees and always with one hope in mind, that Jesus would meet me there and talk to me as He did years ago when He met two travelers on the road to Emmaus. At times I’ve felt His presence even though I didn’t see Him.
Years ago, I wrote my first children’s book which had two boys on a walk with a mission: to save the king from a dungeon where he was being held. When a friend who read my book said to me, “This reminds me very much of Pilgrim’s Progress”, I bought a copy of that book and began to read. I expected to find it rather dull and old-fashioned but, to my amazement, I found similarities to my walk with the Lord and I liked it so much that I read it again three years later. Now I wish that I had read it prior to writing my book because I would have written a more spiritual version of the story.
Perhaps you’re already reaping the benefits of a spiritual walk in the great outdoors but, if not, I challenge you to give it a try. Leave the cares of the world behind and find a park in your neighborhood. Then experience true freedom as you walk and fellowship with God.
It’s no good taking family or friends along. This is something you must do on your own. And be sure to write and let me know how it went. I’ll be waiting to hear from you.
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