Echoes From the Campfire

The way I see it, every time a man gets up in the morning he starts his life over.  Sure, the bills are there to pay, and the job is there to do, but you don’t have to stay in a pattern.  You can always start over, saddle a fresh horse and take another trail.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (The Proving Trail)

    “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world.  He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'”
              –John 8:12 (NKJV)
I remember the words of my pastor a few years back when I was a teenager.  He made a simple statement, yet very profound.  “Life is living.”  It seems that so many are too busy to really live life.  Today, right now, take a breather and find out where you are in this journey called “life.”
    Are you moving up a steep, rocky trail hoping to reach the summit of the mountain that you are climbing, or maybe have been climbing for quite a spell?  Perhaps you are coming down from the summit and are on the slippery slope and the gravel begins to roll under your shoes and you find yourself losing your balance.  Maybe everything is just hunky-dory and you are moving easily and freely through a lush meadow.  Listen, life is no picnic.  Do not become complacent.
    William E. Sangster wrote, “Enjoy it [life] while you can.  Seize every scrap of legitimate happiness, but remember–life is not a picnic.  There are tears in things.”  Right now things may be easy and the trail clearly marked.  Even if a bit rugged from time to time it is a plain trail.  But what is around the corner?  Move slowly, look around.  I can recall a time, back in those teenage years again, when several of us were coming back from a hike up Green Mountain.  I just happened to be running down the trail and a hand grabbed my foot, actually it was either a root or rock, and I began to tumble, rolled off the trail and down the side.  No real hurts, some cuts and scrapes, a bruise or two–it could have been much worse.  A slip, a stumble, the ankle twists, the ground comes up fast and your head is stunned when contact is made.  Life is no picnic.
    Then there are those well-marked trails.  I have walked enough of them that sometimes when you come to a fork there are no signs for direction.  If you don’t carry a map or know your destination or haven’t traveled the trail before you might become quite befuddled.  Which way?  There are also those trails that grow dim or have several paths branching off from it.  The voices begin to run through your mind, “Take this one”, “No, take this one”, “This one looks easier and more traveled.”  If darkness is coming on, it may be prudent to stop for the night and wait for the morning’s light.  It is vital that you recognize and stay on the right trail.
    Hopefully you are prepared for the night; that you have the right equipment with you.  Tomorrow there should be light and you should recognize the right trail.  Settle down, don’t panic.  This is the time to draw upon your resources and knowledge.  If you know the Word of God, it will shine its light on the right path.  Perhaps your prayer at a time like this might be similar to one of George Matheson’s:

         “When I stand below the stars without Thee I say with with Jacob, ‘How dreadful is this place!’  Take away the dread, my Father!  Light this solemn world with Thy smile!  Dispel with Thy voice the solitude I feel!  Guide me amid the things I know not, the things that know not me!  It is not death I am afraid of; it is life–life without Thee.”

    Learn to listen to the Holy Spirit–this life is no picnic.  With Him as your Guide, and the Word of God lighting your way, you should be able to make it to your destination.