Last Sunday after church, we ventured into the mountains for our first hike of the summer season. We listened to The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare on the way toward Red Feather Lakes. The book about a 13 year boy who lives alone in the woods with the help of an Indian friend put the kids in the perfect frame of mind to tramp about in the Rockies!
Not sure anything could have prepared Micah for his run-in with a cactus!
Todd helping pick the cactus out of Micah’s clothes!
We even found a log cabin of sorts! (In the book, Matt and his dad built a log cabin). Granted it was an outhouse, but log-built nonetheless!
marveled at the spring beauty,
and threw sticks in the swift and swollen creek.
Toward the end of our walk, Joel came flying down from the knoll he had been exploring. “It’s a snake!” He declared at full volume. Sure enough! A four foot bull snake in all its yellow-green splendor!
The other part of our walk was “the letter picture.” According to the tradition we started last year, each time we hike we find something that represents the experience, form it into a letter and take a picture. Last year we chose letters to eventually make the word “Hoffman,” starting with H made from sticks at Rocky Mountain National Park and ending with N made in the forest flowers at Yellowstone National Park. This year we’ve decided to spell the word “Adventures.” This being our first time out, we made an A of rocks in a bed of cactus.
The idea is to print the pictures and frame them as a word – a visual reminder of where are adventures have taken us.
I would like to think this idea of visual reminders is original to us. Alas it is not. God beat us to the notion! When he wanted to remind post-flood Noah of his promise, he painted the rainbow. When he wanted people to remember his faithfulness, he had them build an altar. When he wanted us to remember Christ’s sacrifice, he went all out and established a multisensory reminder involving not only the eyes, but the hands and mouth. “Take and eat. Do this in remembrance of me.”
I need reminders. I love thinking back nostalgically of past events, the sweet moments. These help me to remember God’s goodness. And I need to remember the less-than-sweet moments; the painful times, the hard lessons. It was those times that taught me most about God’s faithfulness. I need to remember that.
I need reminders because not only do they help me see where I’ve been, they shape where I’m headed. When I remember the goodness and faithfulness of God in the past I more likely to look with hope at the challenge before me. Reminders are the stories that put us in the frame of mind to tackle the next adventure.