Before reading anything at all, please listen to this song.
Maranda and I LOVE the show Parks and Recreation. Because we are overly attached to shows, one of our favorite activities is watching bloopers. In one specific blooper, Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman let out farts at almost the exact same time. Amidst cast and crew member’s disgust, Nick Offerman offers up the explanation “It was just call and response”. At this point, please make the connection between the song and fart story.
“Just my soul responding…”
This is your typical example of turning a very obvious love song and twisting the original meaning to fit my intent, but I think it is justifiable. Over the past year, I’ve wrestled with my purpose behind attempting the famed “thru hike”. I can now say, with certainty, that it’s my response to the call. As we’ve experienced the emotional peaks and valleys of the past few months of serious planning, one thing has remained constant- the call. This call on our lives has remained inevitable, unshakable, and very real.
The call, in its most basic form, is to set out to try and walk 2,189 miles. What draws us to try and walk those miles is what we set out to answer by stepping foot on Springer Mountain on March 28, 2016. There’s no doubt that the lure of trail life and daily adventure are reasons enough to call us out to the white blazes, but there’s still something deeper. I offer two causes I’ve identified that justify our thru hike attempt. First, the call of the trail community- a vibrant ripple of the most beautiful people we hope to meet, engage, and bond with. We hope to create relationships with others solely based on the principle of simply being, without the distractions and stressors of present-day life. Second, the spiritual call to connect and commune with God. By stripping away the complications of “normal life”, we hope to spiritually grow to a greater sense of trust and deeper relationship with God.
The question now becomes, “what is our response”? Our response has been to leave a sense of normalcy and comfort, and trade that for mobility and uncertainty. We are well aware that our response has come with great risks and sacrifices. We choose to follow this uncertainty with a sense of peace that comes with knowing that we are following the call.
I pose this question, “what is calling you?” But more importantly, what is your response?
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