Martin Luther and the Appalachian Trail

HikeItForward-Final-MediumA follower of my blog sent me a great email with some significant quotes regarding the spiritual nature of my hike. Here is a quote from Martin Luther that I really appreciate, “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees, and flowers, and clouds and stars.” I can plow through nature and miss so much…I often miss the creative variety of spring flowers, the soothing sound of the babbling brook, the freedom of the soaring hawk, and the peace of the quiet trail. I like Luther’s quote because it takes my eyes from the earth to the sky – the horizontal observation of trees, flowers, streams, rocks, and animals to the vertical beauty of blue sky, cotton candy clouds temporarily masking the power of the sun, the rain that provides life to the earth, the thunder and lightning proclaiming the power of the Almighty, and Martin-Lutherthe midnight heavens that communicate the infinite glory of the Creator. The Gospel (the Good News) of the existence of God and His love for us is a tapestry woven all around us.

The Psalmist said the same thing, “The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).  David, as a shepherd boy, spent many a night under the stars and experienced the workmanship of God’s signature. I have had the opportunity to hike the Grand Canyon twice in my life. The first time my three nights were blessed with a full moon, the second journey was taken with no moon. I was awakened every night during the first adventure with the brightness of the moon in my face. It was so magnificent that I could have hiked the trail by its brilliance. I stayed awake for several minutes just marveling at the lunar beauty and illumination. The second hike had no midnight alarm clock, but I was fortunate enough to break out of my slumber at some point during the night. I had to put my glasses on and take a moment to focus because the sky seemed artificial and almost surreal. I have never seen so many stars in the sky. The total blackness of the canyon and the absence of the moonlight allowed my naked eye to get a better glimpse of the universe than I ever had before. It was truly awesome because it pointed me to the Awesome One.

And Paul seems to share this same idea with the church at Rome, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse (Romans 1:20).  It hit me as I read this verse from the Bible that part of the reason for Creation and the Universe is to help man see who God is. From the microscopic to the telescopic, nature is proclaiming the power, personality, and purposes of God Himself… and how often I miss it. I am too busy with life’s agenda, with the tyranny of the urgent, or with my selfishness. I desire to clean off my glasses and focus on His glory.

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Backpack, Grand Canyon, Hiking, Scripture, Thru-Hike, Trail | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Martin Luther and the Appalachian Trail

  1. janloyd


  2. Pingback: Honest Work. | SoshiTech

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