April 27th

Today, I hiked from Peck’s Corner Shelter to Cosby Knob Shelter, a total distance of 13.1 miles. The terrain today was for the most part incredibly pleasant and again I had a number of gorgeous views. The final stretch of the hike, the mile and a half hour right before the shelter, then turned steeply uphill, which managed to exhaust me pretty well at the end of the day.

Today was one of my biggest miles days yet, and I was definitely feeling it by the end of my hike. The new boots I bought in Franklin have been serving me well, but their sturdiness which was their major selling point has the downside that they have almost no cushion, so my feet and calves are feeling very beat up if not almost numb by the end of a longer stretch, especially if lots of rocks and roots are being crossed.

I’ve been listening to more messages from Blue Ocean Faith Church of Ann Arbor. They were covering the practice of listening to God and hearing from the Holy Spirit. There was a particular quote that struck me. “The burden to communicate is on the teacher, not the student” – Ken Wilson. The idea that the work of listening to God is a work done not by us but by God is one that I’d be familiar with from an intellectual point of view, but once it’s laid out it has tremendous implications, removing much of the stress and worry that so often accompanies trying to hear God’s voice.
There’s an initial sermon which I found incredibly helpful and hope to share with a pastor back home for use with small group leaders, but I was particularly struck by an exercise that was mentioned. They suggested that a method one person used to hear God’s voice was to write a letter, as if from God, to themselves. I can’t exactly say why, but this directly appealed to me, I felt certain it would work, but at the same time I found it strangely frightening and didn’t think I could bring myself to do it. After further reflection, I began to consider that the times when I’ve most felt God speaking through me was when I was praying for someone else, so I considered that I could pray for myself out loud as if I were praying for someone else. Again, I felt that this would be productive but felt strangely reticent about trying it. I’m hoping to have some down time to myself tomorrow when I can give this a try

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