QUEST: June 12

Dickens

I have a couple of things in common with the immortal Charles Dickens.

First, we both wrote Christmas stories.  So far, Charlie’s stories have been more widely read, and with good reason – they’re awesome.  My own humble published works, The 95th Christmas and The Innkeeper of Bethlehem, are pretty good (in my humble opinion)… and if a handful of people read my stuff and are moved by it, that’s good enough for me.

Second, both Charlie and I like to walk.

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Here’s the type of countryside Charles Dickens used to walk.

I’ll be walking 10-12 miles, on average, every day in July as part of my “Quest.”  (See my May 5 post here for more details.)  Charles Dickens, according to a biography, routinely walked about 12 miles a day himself.  Sometimes, he walked many more miles than that.

My “normal” walking speed, on flat ground, is about 3.3 miles per hour.  I can top out around 3.7, and if I’m covering a lot of hours and/or elevation change, I’m lucky to hit three miles per hour.

Dickens used to claim he walked at four miles per hour, but he really walked about 4.8 mph, according to historians, which is “at the top of human walking speed.”  Sure is.  At 4.8 miles per hour, on a treadmill, I’m jogging.

Now, I’m not ashamed.  Dickens did his walking when he was in his 30s and 40s.  I’m 63.

This is the home of Charles Dickens and his family; it’s a school now)

And, on my Quest, I’ll be traversing at least a couple of mountain passes of more than 10,000 feet elevation.  Dickens walked around in sea-level England.  I don’t know if he had asthma… but I do, so I figure I’ll be lucky to complete my long walk.

So… enough excuses.  I’m in awe of Charles Dickens, and not just because he wrote great Christmas stories.  I’m envious of his walking, too.

And I think I “get” why he did all that walking.  In my experience, there’s no better way to simply spend time with your own imagination (and with the images you might be blessed to receive from On High) than to walk… and think… and dream.

I’m working on my next Christmas offering, a short story collection called The Joy Elf and Other Stories of Christmas.  I’m very excited about what’s emerging with that collection.  And during my practice walks throughout the past few months, I’ve already been struck with several ideas which are helping the writing of those stories.

I’m grateful for those ideas, but my main goal is to talk to The Lord during these walks, and to simply spend time with Him.  So while I think it’s great to move my own works along, I’d much rather emerge from the Quest with a better experience of His works.

So here’s to Charles Dickens, who helps inspire me in at least two ways.  But the real toast is to The Lord, whose inspiration comes in limitless ways and in every minute of every day, if we’ll only be open to experiencing it.

Thanks for following my Quest.  If you’d like to respond, please send an email to michael@michaelhume.net.  I’ll receive emails until July, and then not again until late August.

Comfort and Joy!

Michael, June 12, 2024

Michael D. Hume, M.S.

Michael Hume is a freelance writer, singer, and songwriter, and author of The 95th Christmas. He's an honor graduate of the Defense Information School, and holds an M.S. from the University of Colorado School of Business. Michael is the author of hundreds of online articles, including the popular series Great Leadership Requires Inspiration, The Conscience of a Restorationist, Appreciate Your Adversaries, and Take Care of Your Business.

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