By M. S.
Connecting to God takes conscious choice and effort. M.S. takes to nature to renew and remember his personal connection to God. The hikes remind him how blessed he is to be able to call out and connect to his “Heavenly Father” and affirms his commitment to keep investing in this personal connection through seeking God’s truth, righteousness, and goodness.
March 6th was my first hike this year. It was a short hike of 3 hours on a familiar course, as I had another plan for later that day. After arriving at the first destination, in my mind, I calculated the time left for me to hike. Then, the sun came out. I went into a meditative state for a short while.
I normally pray and go into a meditative state during my hikes. In the meditative state, I ask questions, try to solve issues, and offer my determination to God. I pray every morning before doing anything. Calling on God is like the switch to go to another level of consciousness. Hiking helps me put my mind in control of my body, laying the right foundation for God, my mind, and my body, by letting my spirit direct my body. I do not go into a meditative state every time I hike.
I went on another hike on March 13th. This hike was a little longer and harder. It was a hike for which I had to prepare myself for a longer and harder hike. On that day, I did not go into a meditative state. Sitting for lunch, I noticed a person wearing a jacket with the drawing of a human shape with wings on the back. It was grotesque, a mismatch from the beautiful nature around us.
We, humans, have the freedom to unite with God by choosing to seek truth, to be righteous and good, and to achieve the ideal based on God’s true love. We also might fall away from such an ideal by denying God and the spirit, by denying the ultimate source of truth, goodness, and righteousness.
Making the necessary effort to experience God – or not – is our choice as well. I still have many ups and downs in making such an effort. But the reward after making the effort is unforgettable. Two years ago, I camped up in a mountain and hiked to close and offer a long fasting period. The pictures I took on that day were beautiful and reminded me of my offering of sincere effort to God.
On the peak of the mountain, there was writing on a board that read:
“Why did you come to the mountain? People have been traveling to these peaks for millennia. Ancestors of local tribes hunted elks and deer and collected plants for food, fiber, and medicine across these ridges. Tribal elders tell of using the mountains as travel routes, and spiritual and social pursuits.”
I call God, “Heavenly Father.” I am blessed and grateful to be able to call Him in such a way. I do not take it for granted, knowing the lives of people who sought truth but were not able to call God as their Father. I continue to make effort to serve Him better.