Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Miracle of a Wander

As an author, why don’t I just sit at my comfy desk and simply write books? Why do I feel compelled to go backpacking, sometimes for days or weeks on end? Enduring the hardship and pain of hiking with a backpack,  day after day, sleeping on the hard ground, no showers, with gnats in my ears and
the common things of life a challenge to find.

Why do I do it?

To see miracles.

It’s tough for me sometimes to see the hand of God in my day to day occurrences in my man-made surroundings of home. Oh, I know He is there. I have seen it. But out on a trail, you are vulnerable to everything - from weather to the ability to hike, to finding a space to set up your tent, to the water you need to drink.

Which leads me to my latest miracle on the trip I took this past week. It began with water, which became a challenge to find during a dry spell of weather. I carried a guidebook that told me where the sources might be to fill up my water bottles, but many were dry. We take for granted the water that zooms out of faucets every day yet such a common need at home can get scarce in the wild. And the scarcity of this needed commodity can turn dangerous in hot conditions when heat exhaustion sets in.

So when I came upon a small spring, and not just any spring but one where a hard-working trail
The pipe helped me collect water with ease
volunteer had hiked up a steep trail to insert a pipe so I can get water, I was amazed. In another dry area I found the needed water seeping down a cliff face. I had no idea how to collect it. Until God reminded me of the simple leaf – of which there were many growing nearby, and I used a large leaf as a funnel to shoot the water straight into my bottle.


It’s all those things we take for granted that becomes much clearer in the woods setting.

And then there is the rains. They came in abundance for two days afterwards. I was soaked to the bone, sometimes cold even, but now there was water gushing everywhere. I had no
want.  I just also had to dry things out and cope with issues that wearing wet socks or wet clothes can bring.

Such is the life of a backpacker. But in these wanders, I see the greatest miracles within the simple provisions in times of need. And it’s those miracles I carry back to my man-made cave and my writing desk to enrich the lives of others. 

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