Saturday, January 27, 2007

Why Backpacking?

While shopping at Dick’s Sporting Good Store an idea crossed my mind. If I lived anywhere the Smokey Mountains I make it a spiritual discipline to spend one night a month in the backcountry. Now it’s safe to say that the Smokey’s could be substituted with any outdoor wilderness area (that’s a little bigger than what Indiana has to offer). What is it about the backcountry that drawls me into its surrounding?

I’ve been reading Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller. Midway through the book he finds himself at the Grand Canyon taking in the majestic surroundings. As he looks at this section of creation he thinks, “Life is a dance toward God.” He thinks about all the junk he left back in the real world, as he manages life with just a few necessities, he comes to a comforting conclusion: “There is nothing I am missing. I have everything I was supposed to have to experience the magnitude of this story, to dance with God.”

This struck a nerve. My back packing is spiritual. It’s one of the few opportunities to “dance toward God” without interruption. Everything I need to enjoy this dance is strapped on my back in a 30 to 40 pound pack with no ability to clutter up my life with more junk. I can spin 360* and never be removed from this magnificent pace of life. Life is simple and therefore God becomes much more visible.

I wish I were closer to that magnificent canvas. Or maybe I need to learn to appreacted the canvas I currently posses.

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