by Emily Hansen
Spending time pursuing all things related to the passion. studying the conditions, the equipment, the dangers, the required skills, the environment. learning from others experience. poring over maps or routes or training plans. reading stories and reports, the history. how to be successful. different opportunities. organizations. paths. how do my gifts and abilities and experiences meet a need? where do I excel? how can I most be of service?abilities are God’s gift to us, what we do with them are our gift to God. the catechism. what is the chief end of man? “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever” (westminster shorter catechism 1649). we are literally made to praise God.
how do I praise God with my life? how do I use the gifts He has given me to glorify Him? to share His love and light with the world? at least in this place, in this period of my life, I am glorifying Him by loving his creation, taking care of his creation, managing it for others to enjoy. creating safe beautiful places for people to come enjoy Him creation. to find peace and solitude and beauty and freedom. to escape the media and noise and congestion of city life. to have space to ponder, to reflect, to read, to create, to move, to listen, to meet God.
it is written in Ephesians “with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which God has called you”
when we remove the idols we have created (jobs, relationships, alcohol, hobbies, etc) – our eyes can see what God has created for us – knowing what we are created for gives us hope.
isn’t that what we all long for? to know why we are here? what we were created for? it’s taken me years of stripping down the things I thought I needed and wanted. career success, marriage, things, fitness, experiences. not that everyone has to go live in a camper in an isolated remote location like I have, but that’s what it took for me. enough time away from the noise and the images and the pressure and the temptation. to be alone. in creation. to feel small. yet alive. to be free of expectations. to move in space. to love a place. a state of being. to want to share it. respect it. appreciate it.
the solution is still unclear. but the signs are there. the steps lay before me. use my physical attributes to love and serve and protect these public lands. use my education and experience to offer insight to the organizations that manage them.
my why? i run and ride and hike these trails to learn about them. to understand them. to report back about them. to hopefully help protect them. and provide others the opportunities to enjoy them. i become stronger so i can go further and work harder. i compete with no one. but myself. be better than yesterday. not for time on a clock. for clearer vision. stronger sense of self. bigger adventures. peace of mind. to remind myself that i can do anything. that i am not alone. that i am loved. talented. capable. an overcomer. a work in process.