Back in the olden days May 2004, before the first iPhone was invented in 2006. I was taking a class wilderness survival class in the mountains of British Columbia Canada. The purpose of this class was to teach survival skills to ready you for any situation, and to give you some in field training, so you would be equipped if anything were to happen. This was a great class. After teaching us to start fires with no lighter or matches, they would teach, shelter building skills. It was useful, and eye opening. The pinnacle of the class was to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere by oneself, for around three days. We were told to stay put and to leave signal flags out to show that we were ok. We would be graded on a few different areas. One would be if we started a fire with a primitive method, another was shelter building. All we were allowed to take with us was the clothes on our back, a four by six-foot sheet of plastic, a don't shoot my bright vest, and some bear spray (a backcountry essential in the mountains of British Columbia. As well as a knife.
This was great for many of the students, and I love the outdoors, hiking, climbing, and camping. It should have been a breeze. However, I am scared of the dark, ants and being alone. All three fears I would encounter on this trip. To top it off, I struggled a bit with my sugar levels, and if I were to miss a meal I would quickly run out of energy.
There I was, about to be dropped off to literally face all of my fears at once. What to do? The teacher gave us a few minutes to prepare. So I found an open field and as the sun crested over the partly cloudy skies there in the mountains I saw this scene that words cannot describe. It was one of those moments of perfect scenery that takes your breath away, I sat down, and began to pray, "Lord give me peace." I prayed for a minute or two and then was overwhelmed by the feeling that I should open my Bible. I took a few seconds enjoying the scenery. Pulled out my pocket-sized Bible and opened it randomly. There it was Psalm 121. Needless to say, it immediately became my favorite psalm.
In that Psalm surrounded by those majestic mountains, I read this...
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.
Peace rushed over my heart, and in the moment, I had experienced something amazing. Peace, true peace. When we trust in God, anxiety stress and frustration can be washed away. Philippines 4:6-7 says, 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Moments earlier I didn't know what I was going to do. When I turned it over to God He supplied me with peace. I was dropped off in the middle of nowhere for the next three days, but I was never alone. Although the ants, the wilderness, the darkness where all around me, I was at peace. To this day, I remember that trip as being one of the best experiences of my life. Whatever your situation, whatever you are going through, put your trust in God and he will supply what you need to make it through.
Head to the daily-walk to find an assignment to help you find stress free living.
Texts in this post were from the: New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995)
You know there is that old phrase, Rome wasn't built in a day? Well, it's true. Rome was founded on 21 April 753 BCE. It actually took, "So far it's taken approximately 1,009,491 days to build Rome. This is based on the traditional founding of the city, but we should also consider that the city has been sacked and rebuilt several times." according to www.pawildsartisans.com In other words, you don't build a great city overnight.
In the same sense, it also takes a long time to build a boat. In today's market it takes about a year to build a supertanker, says Rajeev Rey, Naval Architect, and Tech Enthusiast. It took Noah about 120 years to build the ark. In Genesis 6 Noah is given the task of building a boat. Not just any boat but a huge boat.
The ark measured 300 cubits by 50 cubits and was 30 cubits in height. 1 cubit equals about 17.5 inches. This means that the ark would have been about one and a half football fields in length. This was by no means your garden verity ski boat.
"the internal volume of the ark would have been 1,518,750 cubit feet - the equivalent of 569 boxcars. If the average animal was the size of was the size of a sheep, it had the capacity for 125,000 animals." Mark Batterson. All In p. 94 Zondervan, Grand rapids Michigan. 2013
This boat was huge, and a great undertaking. Today most of us would probably look at God's blueprints look down at our phones and say, "sorry God, ain't nobody got time for that." We have become a minute by minute culture. We don't want to do anything unless we can see an immediate end in sight.
The problem is that it takes time, to do anything great. It takes time, to get an education, or to build a career. It takes time, to build a relationship, a family, and to make it work. Today we give up on anything that takes time. The problem is if we want the best we need to invest our time.
Today is Super Bowl 51. As usual, there are many great players who have invested their entire lives into football. They have given it everything. And here they are with a chance to be a part of the world's best football team. Of course next year the Seahawks will win. But the point is still the same. If you wanna live the great life. You have gotta invest in it.
"“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." Matthew 6:19-20
If you want to live an epic life. If you want an epic walk, you need to invest some of your time building a relationship with God.
Hebrews 11:7, "By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith."
Today I would challenge you to ask yourself the question, "How much am I willing to invest in my epic walk?"
Eleven long years ago, my favorite hockey team went to the Stanley Cup Finals, hockey's most prestigious award. Some even say it is the toughest trophy to win in sports. I attended as many of the playoff games as I could. It was a thrilling ride, they were the underdogs the entire way. They barely squeaked into the playoffs in 16th place. As they won round after round excitement was built. They were the biggest surprise in the league. Players would sacrifice everything, in hopes of their life long dream coming true. During one game I remember a player getting two of his teeth knocked out by a puck, he left the game only to return later in the game to fight for a win. It was a run worth cheering for. The headline everyone wants to hear, "Underdog fights their way to the Stanley Cup Finals!" They fought hard, it came down to game seven, do or die. The Carolina Hurricanes vs. the Edmonton Oilers. What a story. There they were, ready to make history, Edmonton was fighting for their 6th Stanley cup. My heart raced, I was on the edge of my seat the entire game. But that day in June 2006, would not be a day of victory. The oilers lost, 3-1. Heartbreak.
Although experiencing the joy of my favorite team racing through the playoffs was sweet like honey, the loss was bitter. Afterwards, the joy was quickly gone.
I feel this reflects a lot on our lives. We go to school as kids, and as teenagers many of us dream of living "the great life". When we get there, the job, the family, the house, the kids, and the cars, whatever your dream might be, the things that we thought would give us success, the things that we thought would fulfill us and make us happy seldom do. Yes, they are glimpses of happiness. But really what are we here for? How can we be filled with unending joy?
"The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him." Phillipians 3:7-8 The Message
Maybe you have heard these songs before.
"You can't always get what you want." - Rolling Stones.
"I still haven't found what I'm looking for." - U2
There are many songs out there with this common theme running through them. A theme of searching without finding the answer. Why is it we look to love, sex, and others relationships for the answer to complete fulfillment? It's because we are looking for one thing: love. All too often, the kind of love that we find does not leave us satisfied.
Just recently Adele sang a song titled, "Hello"
The song became an obsession for many. Why? Because in the longing of our hearts we are in desperate need of love, but a better, complete love.
In the Biblical book of John chapter 4 there is a story of a woman who so desperately needed to find love. She looked everywhere, she had looked for love in all the world could offer. From men and other things. But only when she got to know Jesus did she find what she had been longing for.
This week let us start searching together and find our epic walk.
How often do we wonder, "Where am I going? or What is my purpose?" In our day to day life, in our inner walk, many of us are looking for a purpose. You may be here because you want answers. You may be here because you truly want an Epic Walk. For whatever your reason, I am glad you are here. Read on. Enjoy our daily homework and hopefully, you can find more purpose, and begin an Epic Walk.