April 12

When I was a senior in High School, two of my best friends and I decided we would have a week-end hiking adventure on the Appalachian Trail near our home. We left with backpacks, sleeping bags, and a great deal of enthusiasm. We did not have a map … one of my friends had hiked the trail years before and claimed to know where he was going (our first mistake of many). The first night we camped along the trail at a very nice spot. In the morning, we awoke, had breakfast, packed our things, and started out for adventure.

There was a place where the normal trail (marked by white paint marks on trees) split. You could follow the normal trail, which was an obvious trail, or you could take the venetian blind trail (marked by pieces of venetian blind nailed to trees). This second trail was not as obvious but was for the more adventuresome hikers. Of course, we chose the second, more challenging trail. As we hiked and talked and joked around, we realized that we had not seen a venetian blind for quite a while. We were headed over the top of the mountain and decided that we would be fine.

As we neared the bottom of the mountain, we realized that we were totally lost. We eventually came out to a road and went to a nearby house to ask for help. The man we spoke to explained that if we would head directly over the mountain, we would eventually cross the main trail again. He asked what our names were, so he could tell the authorities that he had seen us, just in case we went “missing.” We headed straight over the mountain, which was a grueling hike. As we neared the top of the mountain, a thunderstorm came. The sun disappeared, and it became as dark as if it were the middle of the night.

We took out flashlights to see where we were going and began to pray for God to help us find that original path. After two hours of searching, my flashlight happened upon a white mark on a tree! We had found the path by the grace of God! Today I read, “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles” (Psalm 43:3). We all need God’s light to lead us in the days we are living. There are many obstacles and distractions that can move us off of the “trail” God has designed for us to follow. Just like we needed the help of the flashlights that day, we need the guidance of God’s light today. We need the light of the Scriptures. We need the light of good Bible preaching and teaching. We need the light of the Holy Spirit guiding our steps each day. I hope that each of us will follow the light of God’s Word today.

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