Mike’s Hike: The Elder’s Sabbatical and the Young Man’s Dream

Young men dream dreams. Sometimes, as older men, they fulfill them.

Mike is a man who as a young man dreamed of hiking the Appalachian Trail. The first opportunity he got, he tried, and he failed. The mental struggle of sticking to it for the full 2000 miles overwhelmed him, and he stopped.

That was years ago. Since that time, he met Marsha, who became his wife, who gave him Joshua, his son. But also, since that time, he met Jesus. There are few I know who find such joy in loving Jesus. In time God made him an elder at Hope Presbyterian Church, a role that he has filled with the same passion and joy that he brings to everything. I have called him the ‘soul’ of our session (the board of elders in a Presbyterian church is called a ‘session’).

His dream, though, remained unfulfilled. But now he is pursuing it afresh. With the encouragement of his fellow elders and the support of a wife who knows the importance of a husband being freed to pursue his dream, Mike set out at the end of March to conquer this trial. As I write, he is at the 1/2 way mark and none of us doubts that this time he will make it all the way.

But isn’t this a waste of time? Mike wrestled with that. Can one hike the Trail to the glory of God? We concluded that yes, he could. God has in this given Mike a sweet sabbatical from the routines of life, and He has given him an opportunity to pursue a dream that was once abandoned. I have no doubt that Mike will return refreshed in the reality of God’s grace and renewed in his passion to serve his God and King. To that end we are praying.

If you’d like to follow Mike’s progress, he keeps a journal HERE. If you are clever with these things, set up an RSS feed and you can track his progress with every post. Go for it, Mike! We’re with you!

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