Take a Hike!
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly before your God!
[Micah 6:8, from last week's OT reading]
The Sun City Texas Hiking Club offers hikes throughout the year, ranging in length from four to a dozen miles. Once each year, however, a few of the hardiest members do a challenging marathon trek around Lake Georgetown - hiking from sunrise to sunset on a nearly twenty-seven-mile trail.
At the other end of the spectrum, once a month - when the weather permits - some of the members gather at a local assisted living/memory care complex and take some of the residents on a stroll around the well-kept grounds. These are humble walks by Club standards: short and slow. But they are also good walks, enjoyed by residents and Club members alike.
Large acts of kindness and generosity often gain public recognition. Small and humble acts typically do not. Yet these are the ties that bind together a well-functioning society. There are many ways in which we can walk humbly before God. However, they do not need to be done in order to elicit rewards from God. God does the rewarding before we do the walking. God gives us life, forgiveness and a model - service - for meaning and fulfillment, all as perks on our earthly sojourns.
Thus to those who do kind deeds in order to gain human recognition or divine favor, God says "Take a hike!" To those who do them out of generous hearts sensitive to human needs and lively minds dedicated to developing effective strategies to meet those needs, Jesus the Christ says "I continue to walk the earth; your walk is mine."
I can no longer hike long distances. But as a follower of Christ Jesus I can still find humble walks of service that help fill my life with meaning and purpose. So can you, and a lot of you do - including many of our young people. Thank you for that.
- Composed by Tom Wilkens