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Alive At The Trailhead
Years ago, when I was in college, my friends and I set off on an adventure. We packed our bags and loaded in a car and headed off to the Smokey Mountains. Our plan was to climb the Chimney Tops, one of the more popular trails just outside Gatlinburg. So we left at three in the morning so that we could get to the top just before the sunrise.
The path was quite dark except for our flashlights. Now, this particular trail is fairly easy for the first mile and a half or so but it starts to get quite steep - you climb almost 1000ft in the last mile so I was feeling very tired especially towards the end. As we approached the last mile my back started to hurt and I started having trouble breathing. The thing that kept me going was the encouragement of my friends and the simple conversations we were having along the journey.
Our church is beginning a journey together. We aren't climbing mountains in Tennessee but we are on a journey with our new series based on Brian McLaren's We Make the Road By Walking. This journey will be one of spiritual renewal and deeper engagement with our story of God. It might get difficult especially if you are trying to walk this road by yourself. That is why we suggest forming small groups to read and discuss together as we make this road by walking. It is in the process of reading, learning, and walking together that transformation will happen.
We realize that not everyone will be able to make it to a small group or Sunday school class so we also want to offer an online way of hearing from one another. Every week we will make a blog post relating to the weeks lesson. We invite you to comment on those posts and to tell us your stories of transformation, of what God is doing in your life, of the discoveries you make while on this road we walk.
The night that I hiked to the chimney tops was an amazing night of conversation, hiking, and fellowshiping together. We made it to the top as the sun was coming up; and as the fog came off the trees and the sun shone down we looked around and we all understood that we had done something amazing in climbing this mountain. It is our hope that at the end of our journey our congregation will be able to look out from the top of our proverbial mountain and see how far we have come together with God and where we can go from there. The only way we can do this is by sharing our stories and our lives, our triumphs and our failures, our hopes and dreams as we make this road together. So let us begin this journey together, where God will lead us we do not know but with God we are surely on a journey, and together we can make this road by walking.
- Pastor Nate