This was a phrase that REI captured many years ago. How they capitalized on something so simple and so natural as spreading our wings and venturing outdoors, is just brilliant. As I spend much of my time with my parents these past weeks, getting outside means more to me now than ever. The simplicity of taking a walk, getting away from these four walls while hearing the absence of the heater running, the television blaring or the simple act of just stepping away from technology, is truly magical. Sometimes I forget what it is like to breathe fresh air, feel the breeze upon my face, or hear my heart race as I climb a mountain. At times I feel those simple acts are miles away, when in fact, they are just outside.
Jesus woke up early every morning to talk with Father God. He would leave his disciples, his comforts and confines and sought time to be with his loving father. He was intentional. Everything he did, had meaning and purpose behind it. “He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came he was there alone.” Matthew 14:23-24. This gives me pause as I lean into this scripture. It is only a few words, in between a time and place where Jesus led his disciples to a boat and later rescues them from the roaring seas. I can so easily overlook the importance of seeking God, knowing that I need Him but yet toss to and fro, feeling like I am in the boat with Peter. I wonder how my life would change if I took the time, made a daily appointment to step outside and seek my Lords’ guidance before I started my morning rituals? This is crazy. Of course I must stop every morning, pray for God’s wisdom before I venture into my day. But if I am to be honest, I do not.
Jesus is our ultimate example. He is all-knowing, absolute perfection yet he still required alone time with God. As I walk the trails, it is just me and God walking hand in hand, conversing about the day ahead, seeing his beauty and wonders that he has so brilliantly orchestrated ahead of my steps. There is a rhythm that I get into, something that is so natural and easy. But life off-trail is so much more complex. I feel that I have all these plans, my plans, and its not as simple as packing up my few possessions and walking. There lies the problem. Until I sit and lean into Jesus, my plans are only that. They are ordained by me, but not by God! As I write this, I realize that many of you have this so much better figured out than I. Sometimes, this is me speaking to me and just sharing it with you. I love that vulnerability to be real and know that the only way we truly grow is when we allow others to know who we are.
Today as I walk out my door, I lift up my arms and thank God for all he has done in me. And pray that He will work through me so that I can truly bless others around me. Our relationship with Jesus is one that we build alone but then, we are commanded to share it with others that we meet along the way. Today I will be more intentional and I will be the light that He has created me to be. Once I commit to His ways, then I can truly get outside.
A man plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9