After finally completing this incredible journey I have been pondering whether the cost of the journey was worth the result.
The cost includes the financial cost, which I was very fortunate to have the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church to fund most of the journey. The biggest cost to me was being away from family and friends. There are so many people I want to see, asap. The cost also includes weight loss (which is a positive). However, I have had many blisters on the tops of my toes resulting in the loss of 4 toenails, and too many cuts, scrapes, and bruises to count. I developed trigger finger in 2 fingers. I had bruised ribs from one of my falls, which have totally healed. I have swelling between the lower knuckle and the little finger of my left hand. I also developed a hernia. The final cost was missing out on some prime fishin’.
Back to being worth the cost. ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IT IS FINISHED
John 19: 28-30
Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty”. A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus lips. When he had received the drink Jesus said, “IT IS FINISHED.”
Please note that in NO WAY am I inferring that the cost of my journey compares to the pain, suffering, and humiliation that Jesus endured for us! Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing can compare to the depth of his love for us in order to bring us into his heavenly kingdom!
Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his riches in glory.
Hikers on the AT either use 2 hiking (trekking) poles (sticks), one hiking pole, or none at all. I use two. They are used to prevent falls and to take pressure off of your knees.
Other hikers can hear me as I go down the trail because I pound my sticks into the ground. The result of this pounding is the development of trigger finger on two fingers, and the need for FOUR sets of sticks.
Some hikers say, “the trail always provides.” I agree with Philippians, God meets all my needs.
My first set of sticks broke as my son D.J.was finishing up spending 10 days on the trail with me. He gave his sticks to me. After a while, I broke one of those. The day after it was broken, I found a set in a Hiker box. Businesses along the trail set up boxes in their business that hikers leave for other hikers. I soon wore these sticks out, too. A Hiker friend that was leaving the trail to attend his son’s wedding gave me his sticks because he wanted to buy new ones. As he handed me his two sticks, another hiker friend asked if he could have the remaining good stick that I was about to place in a Hiker box.
In talking of prayer with another hiker, I explained that we do not have a candy store God. However, God does like us to make our request for our needs, and sometimes he surprises us with things beyond our needs. He loves us more than we can understand!