10 July 2019 - Marion, Kansas
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26)
The longer that I am out on this walk (and it has been over four months now), the more I am appreciating the everyday things that could be taken for granted, what we might even think of at times as “little things.” These days, I am really appreciating…
• A bed at night
• A hot shower
• A gas station or store along the route where I can buy a Gatorade
• A home-cooked meal
• Someone who hosts me for more than one night, and shuttles me back from a day’s walk, so that I can carry a light pack that day (This one is really huge!)
• A place to find shelter when a storm suddenly moves in (Today it was a Dollar General store for an hour and a half!)
• Someone who walks with me for some of the journey (Last week it was Randy Hickernell for parts of a few days. Tomorrow it will be Bob Davidson walking with me for the whole day as we walk to McPherson, Kansas.)
• FaceTime or Zoom moments with Julia and with other friends
• Receiving an encouraging text from someone
• A refreshing breeze on an otherwise hot day
• A cool, misty rain after a hot spell
• Cloud cover at just the right time
• A prayer offered over a meal, or for my safety
• A wide shoulder on the side of the road, with plenty of room between the ongoing cars and me
I guess some of these things might strike you as big things. For someone to drive out from Colorado and track me down in Kansas, and stay with me for a few days, that’s a lot - a real investment of time and money, not to mention a huge pick-me-up for my spirit!
Maybe what I’m saying is that we don’t tend to put a price tag on companionship at just the right time, or a cool breeze at just the right time, or a comfortable bed to sleep in. But the value - especially for me, right now - is high!
Jesus, in the quote above, cautions us about the fruitlessness of worry, especially given the fact that God loves us and wants to provide for our needs. I have experienced that, too, on this trip - God providing for all of my needs. Here’s one example: Yesterday, around 1:15 pm, I was hot and had plenty of water still in my pack, but the water I had was lukewarm. I actually prayed, “Lord, I would love it if somehow someone could provide me with some cooler water soon.” At 1:54 pm, a man pulled up right next to me in his pickup, handed me a bottle of water, said, “Here you go, partner!”, and drove off. And then, at 3:55 pm, my current host, Martin Holler, picked me up at the end of my walk and inside his car was a huge cup full of ice and two bottles of water!
It is the little things that I am celebrating these days. These little things, to me, are of great value. And all I can do when these little things happen is to say “thank you” - thank you to God and thank you to the person who is providing the bed, the shower, the meal, the ride, the relief, the water, the companionship, the prayer.
What little things are making a difference in your life these days?