St. Cuthbert’s Way II – When I set out on my hike this summer I didn’t know what to expect beyond lots of walking. I had never actually done a multi-day hike before. I had gone camping with my family growing up, but I am not sure if it is really roughing it when you pull the minivan into the campsite with you. Needless to say I was amazed at the way God spoke to me during my four days in the foothills of the England/Scotland border. I had my backpack, my sleeping bag, and a map as I started out from Holy Island England. Before I left I read a couple of passages in the Bible about Jesus and Moses and Paul going into the wild alone to be taught and to learn from God. That was my prayer as I took my first step towards the finish. I prayed “Lord, deal with me. Test my metal.” Let me put a little disclaimer on that for future reference, if you pray that honestly and you are giving Him the time to answer that prayer He will. Not even ten minutes into my hike the Lord was dealing with me. I have often been suspicious of people that say “The Lord spoke to me” or “God told me to do it” for the reason that that has been and continues to be a rash explanation for some of the major atrocities in the history of the church. But in the silence of His creation and the still small voice that the Lord has, my life became clearer than I have ever seen it. The things that were hazy to me and the sins in my life that haunt me were exposed and seen for what they were. I saw through the lies that I had believed and saw the truth. For the four days that I hiked I prayed and sang praise music. I journaled and read the Bible for hours and saw things in a whole new way. There were absolutely no distractions to answer or deal with. My phone couldn’t ring, my IM was not on, my facebook profile couldn’t be updated, and there were no bills that I could pay. I couldn’t get away from my thoughts and from His word. Those four days were revolutionary to my way of thinking about life and about God. I felt like I was in a new reality far away from the worries of the world. It was a four day, 62 mile quiet time. The things that I learned in that time still impact me and I am reminded of them often. If you have the opportunity to go out into the wild and be truly away from it all, I could not encourage you enough to go. Leave your cell phone and your worries in your car and don’t set a time limit. Take you Bible and a water bottle and prepare your heart for how God wants to love on you. The confusion that is hanging over life will be lifted and the clarity that you are looking for will take its place. God created the wilderness and He called it good. Go.