QUEST: June 28

Cool

I’m still at the house, busily making preparations to start my Big Walk in a few days.

The walk from my house to the monastery will be more than 250 miles, and I’m allowing 28 days to complete it.  Most days, I’ll walk about 12 miles (on average); I have a few rest days sprinkled in there, too, and based on the “practice walks” I’ve done over the past few months, I know I’ll need those rest days.

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Walking days on my Quest will probably be a lot like my practice walking days have been.  I’ll read some scripture, walk several miles while chatting with my Constant Companion (The Lord), and then I’ll read some more scripture before “lights out.”

On a few of my practice walks, I’ve expressed to my Companion my hopes for the Big Walk.  I’ve told Him I’m hoping it’ll just be “You and me.”  I’ve mentioned how foolish I know I am to take this Quest physically.  I’ve asked for mercy and forgiveness.  I’ve recalled that, in His life, Jesus never walked as far as I’m planning to walk.

I’ve described to Him my view of the balance between planning and “walking on faith,” and how I know that the more planning I do, the less faith I’ll need, and therefore the less faith I’ll likely have.  I’ve confessed that I have enough faith to start out, and to “try” this Big Walk… but not enough to do it without any planning.  So I’ve planned.

I also asked God to feel free to throw up a roadblock if He didn’t want me to do this Big Walk physically. 

I don’t think He is against this plan, any more than he opposes the other physical things we all do in our lives, from getting married, to starting businesses, to choosing careers, etc.  He just wants a relationship with the things He created into which He breathed Life. 

I read somewhere that He’s satisfied with the “first fruits,” and with ten percent of our attention, so to speak.  He’d love to have more… but most of us never come close to “tithing” even that ten percent.

(By the way, I don’t expect that this Quest will settle my tithing account.  Far from it.  I’ve made a few payments, most of them late, and I can never hope to catch up.  Thank God for mercy and grace.  Literally.)

I haven’t yet encountered Divine Roadblocks.  Oh, I’ve encountered some problems I needed to solve, such as how to deal with sore feet, blisters, chafing, thirst, energy, and so forth.  But I don’t think those were God telling me to back off the whole thing.

Another fun glitch happened right here at home, about a week ago: Our air conditioner gave up the ghost with a “catastrophic failure” of its compressor.  Meanwhile, our daily temperatures are hovering around 100 degrees.

Before we figured out how to best use open windows and fans (we had to borrow the fans from Kathryn’s sister – thanks, Laurie!), we had a couple nights during which it was really too hot to sleep in our upstairs bedroom. 

We do have a couch in the TV room downstairs, which has hosted many an old man nap… and all week, it’s stayed much cooler downstairs (though not what most people would call “cool,” per se).

But I wanted to try to sleep upstairs, where it was around 87 degrees, thinking it would be good practice for times when I won’t have A/C during my Big Walk.  After all, some nights, I’ll get to sleep in the wife-provided little teardrop camper.

I failed my test.  After trying to fall into a sweaty sleep for 2-3 hours, I bailed out and tried to sleep on the couch downstairs.  I got a couple of sweaty sleep hours there, but never did get a successful practice of sweaty sleeping.

Back in my Army days, I could sleep under any condition.  Sitting up.  Lying in a rain puddle.  Leaning against a tree or rock.  Even in the home I shared with my roommate Milt, we had only one window air conditioner, out in the living room, and it was hot as Hades in my back bedroom during some summer nights.

Milt didn’t want to use that window unit much.  It did drive up the electricity bill.

(Milt, if you’re reading this, I did sneak out, run the A/C, and stretch out on the couch there a few times.  My apologies.  But I think you knew about it, and have already forgiven me, in keeping with your overall generous nature.)

Speaking of forgiveness, I’m hoping The Lord will forgive me for failing the many tests I’ve failed over the years, and for not having enough faith at times.

My point is this: I’m not sure the old man I now am can do some of the things the young paratrooper I once was could do.  One of those things is to sleep under less-than-ideal conditions.  So I’m trying to have FAITH that I’ll be able to sleep when I need to sleep during my Quest.

I believe The Lord walks through my garden, so to speak, “in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8).  I don’t know for sure what this means, but I think it means that, when I’m chill (as the kids say), God will find me… and if I’m not hiding behind some fig leaf, which is rare, He can hang out with me and we can enjoy the relationship I believe He intends.

So, whatever the temperature outside, I’m going to do my best to keep my COOL.  And even if I’m sweltering in the physical heat, I’m hoping nevertheless to stay cool where it matters – in my soul – and to toss aside my fig leaves and simply BE and LISTEN.

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.  You can also leave a comment here.

Keep cool.

Michael, June 28, 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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