I am a book junkie. I do not want to become a recovering book junkie, I just want to relish every one of my books. From the feel of the spine, to the smell of the printed paper, to the memories of where I was when I first bought them, read them, relished them. If I had to choose only one to read from for the rest of my days, it would be a booklet, not a book, created by the Boy Scouts’ High Adventure Camp, Philmont Scout Ranch.
I have carried this booklet for almost 30 years, across multiple states. It has hymns, Scripture, and prayers to help the scouts focus on their hikes through the mountainous terrain of northern New Mexico. Now, it has been a long time since I hiked those treasured trails, but my life has had its own difficult terrain, far from the Sangre de Cristo mountain range.
In those seasons of struggle, waning hope, and a sense of exhaustion, I have found the courage to continue on within the pages of this booklet. It contains more than words for me. It is full of hope, peace, expectation, and community. I gathered with many dear friends, brothers and sisters in the faith, during my years at Philmont. I bowed my head with them to call out to our Heavenly Father, to seek His wisdom, to praise His name for answered prayers. We lifted each other up, knowing our prayers were being heard by the Creator of the very land on which we were kneeling.
When I use this devotional, I find myself settling down in my spirit. My breathing finds its rhythm again. I can hear the wind in the pines, smell the sweet clover growing in the meadows, and hear the birds singing in the trees above me. There were times when I heard the Holy Spirit filling my soul with its presence and peace.
The roaring floods from Heaven’s gates poured over me and I was refreshed and restored. Ready to square my shoulders, lace my boots, and begin the hike on the trail before me.
Best Beloved, what are you reading to help you get back on the trail? Do you have a trickle filling your spirit or a flood? What helped you find the joy when you first believed? Let’s get washed away in the Living Water (John 7:38-39) and find our joy again.