Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Listening to God on the Appalachian Trail

We live in a fast pace world, where our minds have to travel even faster. Throughout history, life has never been this way. Think about your day. You wake up to the sound of an alarm, not a rooster. You get out of your allergy free, down alternative, Poster-pedic bed and turn off the electric blanket as you place your feet on the ground. You walk across your heavy face weight, high density, plush, synthetic fiber carpet and take the few steps to your indoor bathroom. You do your business, close the seat that you had your name engraved on and flush the chrome handle on the piece of finely constructed porcelain.
Next, you turn on the water with a simple twist of the wrist, no pumping, priming or walking a mile to the well, carrying a bucket on your head, required. You grab the latest technologically advanced toothbrush, the Crudomatic x2312, and slap a dab of teeth brightening, taste bud dissolving toothpaste on your Crudomatic x2312 and push the button. This device that resembles some sort of James Bond type spy-ware starts to go to work in your mouth.
Stuff is flying all over your bathroom. You are careful not to swallow any of the solution that you placed on your new toothbrush...you have read the warning labels that say, "DO NOT SWALLOW. IF SWALLOWED SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY!" After you clean up the mess that you have caused all over your faux marble vanity, you look at the clock that is screaming, "You're late." You turn around and with a flash you have tied your machine made tie on to your tanning bed tanned neck. You rip the cleaners bag off of one of your professionally steam cleaned and pressed tailored suits and run down the steps. Then, you help the kids go through the production line of, "Have a good day at school" and rip open the plastic package on your "breakfast." The label on your "breakfast" says that it is packed full of vitamins and minerals so you take a bite of the artificially instituted genetically engineered vitamins and the "minerals" that have been classified as minerals, due to the intent of medical based research. You get half way out of the door and realize that your cup of coffee is still sitting in its automatic fresh brewed, just the way you like it, holster. You know, your gunshot that you need to open your eyes the rest of the way.
You only got 5 hours sleep last night. After you played an artificial game of golf with the kids on the television screen, you had to catch up on your Facebook messages, send out your friend request and play Farmville. Oh, and yesterday would have been a disaster if you did not't get your Sports Center update so you had to watch the days news. When you saw 12:05am on the clock you started wrapping up the day and walked up the stairs to bed and started thinking about everything that you didn't get done.
So, you need that cup of coffee in order to stay awake long enough to get to the next cup of coffee. You drink up and push the button to start your car. You tell Mr. Bluetooth to open your garage door and pull out into the man made mirage of a world that God created. You stop at most of the stop signs and make your way to the freeway. They call it a "free"way of all things, as people are traveling as fast as the law will allow them and a little faster to get to a place that they are told what to do; compromise morals, to meet the bottom line. This place that you are traveling to is what you have to do so that you can play on your computer at night while worrying about what you need to get done. So, you press the gas peddle a little more, risking a ticket, higher insurance rates and an embarrassing aggravating moment with a police officer. (Which reminds me, have you heard the one about the guy that got pulled over and the police officer asked him, "Sir, do you have any ID." The man replied, "About what?") You pull into work and turn off your radio. You, "dut dut", push your car alarm and lock the doors simultaneously, report to work, do some of the things you are supposed to get done and drive through the smog alert back to your neck of the concrete jungle.
You meet the kids for dinner at the families favorite grease pit (the world has told us what is acceptable to eat) and you and your wife discuss how you will divide and conquer. One of the kids has indoor soccer practice and the other has to study for a test on evolution and how man was formed by a "big bang." You find time for a preliminary check of your email and Facebook messages on your iPhone on the way home. You don't think that your eleven year old little boy minds that you are paying attention to a 3 inch screen while driving instead of him. He is busy texting his friends on his iPhone, playing his own hand held game with his iPod in his ears, listening to his favorite pop star singing about "itches and oes" and bumping and grinding with that hard body thang at a bar all night. You would never let him listen to such things but you didn't have the time to check during your busy day. You want to know more about him. You long for it. You want him to talk to you more but this is the way times are now. They have busy lives to with school and hobbies. How could you ever take care of them if you did not work like you do? Things can't change, you would not be able to keep up, if your schedule was different.
We live in this concrete world that man has made. Our God wants and longs for you to get the iPod out of your ears and find time for Him. He is not looking at the 3 inch screen instead of you. He is here. He is waiting to have a relationship with you. I have lived in the city my whole life. Although, I had the pleasure of having a Grandfather who had a farm....my favorite place on earth. As a boy I played in the barn, chased cattle through the field, walked through the mud getting a little dirt on my hands and everywhere else. I remember the joy that my grandfather and I would experience together doing things around the farm that only such a place would provide. I remember running to him when I caught a tadpole and how proud he was. He was happy because I was happy. He was proud because he provided this environment for me to find such childhood wonders.
We have a God that is the perfect father; the perfect grandfather, if you will. He has made this green and living earth; full of beauty and amazement, peace and joy. God made it for us. I imagine God looking down at an individual who has discovered something that they have never seen before, something that He created, with deep satisfaction. When you walk through the woods on a hike to discover more of God you are surrounded by His artwork. No doubt it is difficult to impossible to escape the "busy" where you currently are...I believe that God wants to get you away long enough to rekindle a campfire in your soul. Come and let God do the rest.
Sadly, this aspect of life, many have never experienced. We have built literal walls which have blocked the young and the old from being a part of God's incredible masterpiece. He painted the heavens and the earth. He designed the trees and the waters; the mountains and the birds. We have installed concrete and metal over what God has created. I can't help but ask the question, "Do we think that we can paint a better picture?" He designed you and I. I believe that in man's ever increasing knowledge of providing for ones wants, man has forgotten about his need. We have forgotten how to listen to God. I believe that nature, a hike through the woods, allows a person to be in the place that God has designed for just this...to listen to Him. As we step back from our "priorities" God can work to align ours with His.
Never in the history of the world has man been in the absence of nature, the nature that God created. I feel that I must give an opportunity to others to experience something that they may have never experienced. I feel that taking all of the other elements out of sight, all the busyness and routine, and leaving them for a few days is absolutely essential to the spiritual state of a man. Come on The Walk with us. Come, listen to God, you will not return the same.
I believe that God is about progress and I do not feel that a city or a building is wrong to build. I do not believe that working in a city or even using a Crudomatic x2312 is wrong. However, I believe that, as a whole, we leave little room for the voice of God.
Genesis 11
The Tower of Babel
1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2As men moved eastward, [a] they found a plain in Shinar [b] and settled there.
3 They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."
5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. 6 The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."
8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel [c]-because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

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