Skipping. Literally – skipping and hopping!
For days Chloe had been asking me, “Daddy, when are we going HIKING!?!?!” (emphasis hers). So the second day we were in Virginia we went and did a moderate little climb, and she had a BLAST (perhaps about 1.5-2 miles round trip). And as soon as we finished that hike she was asking again, “Daddy, when are we going hiking AGAIN!?!?!?” (emphasis hers). So on our way back from Virginia we took a brief stop at exit 99 off Interstate 64 and parked at the entrance to the Shenandoah National Park where the Blue Ridge Parkway begins. Along the Blue Ridge at this point runs the Appalachian Trail, so we went down and decided to hike the trail as our last hike. Melissa was leading the charge, the girls were both hiking between us, and I was bringing up the rear. And Chloe? She was hopping and skipping down the AT!
She was so excited to be out in the woods hiking, but what was even more exciting was for me to watch her as she enjoyed this new experience – the excitement in her eyes, her energy as she flitted along the trail. That was absolutely priceless.
Which makes me wonder: what does God feel when we travel the road path he lays out for us? If I as a human father experience such joy when I witness my Little Girl running and playing in the woods, how much more does my Heavenly Father experience joy when I spend time “in the woods” with him?
So often Bible study, prayer, and quiet time get pushed aside in a busy day because I’ve got other things to do. What would I have felt this weekend if when I told Chloe we were going hiking she had responded with, “That’s okay, Daddy, I’ll just stay in the car and watch a movie on the DVD player instead.”? I would have been heart-broken.
But that’s the equivalent of what I too often say to God when he invites me to journey with him. His invitation may not be to go on a literal hike in the woods and may instead look like an invitation to work at a new job, volunteer for a new ministry, or invest in a new relationship – but it’s ultimately an invitation to spend time with Him.
So the next time you hear his voice calling, make sure you answer “Yes” – you’ll not only get to hop, skip, and jump down the path he has for you, but you’ll bring Him joy, too.