I’ve often wondered what would inspire a person to put on heavy boots, strap a backpack on their backs, a hat on their head and attempt to climb a mountain.  (Not referring to the military)  So much strain and endurance to accomplish what?  But, many do it.  Are they just thrill seekers?  Possibly.  But, in studying some scriptures, I’ve discovered, I too am a hiker. We all are. Unfortunately, not in the same sense as those who enjoy hiking for a sport.

I do not personally know any sport hikers.  I wondered how I was to find out what makes them “tick” then it donned on me… the internet.  My mind and fingers began to react.  In the last couple of days I have interacted with some really insightful people.  Now I am in awe.   In questioning their motives about hiking, they all share a common core.  To live life, to experience God’s splendor and the thrill of accomplishing something difficult is that common core.  This triggered my brain. (yes, sometimes this can be dangerous)

We often wonder why things happen in our lives.  We mourn, grieve and sometimes take it to dramatic extremes.   It seems my life has always been full of drama.  And yes, I will admit, although in a whispering voice, that I created 99% of the drama in my life by the choices that I did or didn’t make. Because of those, I have constantly been climbing mountains with a loaded backpack.  At the age of 52, I’m getting worn out.  It’s time for an attitude change.  Although I know I cannot eliminate stress completely, I can try to cut it down little by little.  This takes me back to a previous post… Joy in the journey.

At this moment, my life on earth is in the hands of some wonderful “God-Placed” friends. Relying on others, because I have no trust in man, has been hard. Without them, I have no clue where I would be right now.  I do know that I wouldn’t be sitting in Florida, admiring the sunrise and writing this blog.  These are my earthly angels. One of those kind angels kept reminding me yesterday as she read my new book, “Life Regained” that I needed to adhere to the words I had written in the book. Yes, I was having a semi-bad day at something God had revealed to me about someone who was a huge part of my life for a long time. I know, shocking isn’t it that sometimes people aren’t who we really thought they were. :)  I am a firm believer that God ALWAYS reveals the true self of a person in his own time. Oh how those revealing moments hurt.  Nonetheless, this angel was using my own words against me.  These beautiful earth angels have stepped up at a time, although not their responsibility, and have extended a hand to me.  Others are looking and judging from a distance criticizing.  All they see is the ‘high-life’ that I am supposedly living. But, in a way, I’m glad.  I want them to see the good and not the bad.  The good is the glory of God.  They are seeing the time in “footprints” that he is carrying me.  But I do hope they understand that through their bad times, if we trust in him, God will carry them just as he has me.  A wise gentleman has recently told me,  “Those who love you don’t leave you. Waste not one minute on them. Focus on the ONE who does love you.  By seeking the One, he will bring you the best love you can ever imagine.”  I’m beginning to see that God is removing individuals from my life for a reason.  Why?  For the sole purpose of cleaning out my backpack so I can journey forward with a lighter load, heading toward my destiny while serving him.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy,…” (Matthew 11:28-30)

As hikers, they only take in their backpack what they will need for that particular journey.  Nothing more.  Anything more weighs them down making that hike harder. Would you have pity for the hiker bearing the overwhelming weight of the worn-out old boots and garb of past hikes and years?  And yet, in mental and spiritual life, mankind does these things. We weigh down our backpacks with the years behind and the days ahead of us, breaking our backs.  God has promised to help us with the burden of today only.  The past he takes from us and we fool-heartedly chose to gather it again, indeed mocking him by expecting him to share that burden.  We’ve all seen the signs that say, “Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not come, we only have today.”  He has created us to carry the weight of twenty-four hours.  No more. And as each day ends, what remains to be lived is the coming twenty-four hours.

For sake of argument, let me say this… Do not go out and squander foolishly thinking there is no tomorrow. Looking ahead is needed, just don’t foolishly place all your smiles and joy in the future. His word promises that if we trust him, he will provide all we need.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 KJV)

What is in your backpack?  Is it loaded with regrets, hurts, anger, guilt and lost love from your past, keeping you from reaching your mountaintop? Or is it packed with what you need for today so can enjoy the fruits of the true hiker?  If your eyes are focused solely on that mountaintop, you may miss the wildflowers in bloom, the bird that is serenading you, the vastness of the ocean as the waves splash against the sand or the majestic White Oak towering into the sky, all these signifying that Our GOD is The CREATOR of them all.

Blessings … Pam

7 comments to Backpacks

  • Bonnie Swiney  says:

    Well said Sister. Your words today are so true. We all need to check our backpacks!!!!!

  • Jan Brooks  says:

    Wow! That was incredible Pam! How very true and timely. We need to do an inventory of what we are lugging around. Thank you for this post. You have blessed and enriched my life in more ways than I could ever convaye. Blessings Pam ma’am
    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3!

  • Pam Johnston  says:

    Oh snap! You have ruined my makeup with these darn tears.I needed to hear every word of this blog! Thank you Pam for letting our sweet Jesus use you to speak to my heart this morning.

  • Juanita Cook  says:

    Thank you for this wonderful message that you are sharing with us today. It is a beautiful reminder that we all need to lighten our backpacks so we can have joy with each new day and not be drug down with all of the hurts from the past. You are a beautiful and wonderful person and I wish only the best for you each and every day. May You be blessed more abundantly than you could ever ask for.

  • Kathleen Greffin Popp  says:

    Awesome blog with true words. We all need to take a look into our backpacks present & future. Being a sincrere person loving & caring & not trying to be someone where not. Wishing you all the best on your journey, God be with you.

  • Barbara Prisinzano  says:

    Your words are so true!! I as a person ,do not go to church!! But I do Pray each and every day!! I seem to like the Amish way of Praying!! Thanks so much for your Words!! They really do hit home with me!! Barb P

  • Debbie Rhoades  says:

    Pam, please don’t beat yourself up so hard. You would be amazed how many of us have been in exactly the same place as you are right now. Just know that you have a lot of us that love you out here in the world, and God is going to help you get through this bad time in your life. My bad time was 1996, and I thought I was going to die from it, and I am actually a much better person for going through that nasty time. God bless you. I am not judging you at all, just wishing I could help you more.

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