Wednesday, April 24, 2013

While sitting in Starbucks today at "Coffee Therapy" (a topic for another day), Lance asked me what I am taking with me on my hike on the Appalachian Trail.  My reply was "as little as possible." I went on to mention to Lance that I had done some searching on the internet and had found little that actually helped due to my poorly-phrased search words.  It didn't really bother me that I hadn't gotten any good advice on what to take.  False sense of security?  Could be!

While taking my MacBook to get fixed, I began to think about my conversation with Lance and maybe I ought to take a chance that someone at JL Waters (outdoor equipment store) might know something.  It's a long shot as most of the knowledgable people don't work there anymore.  Bother!  But I felt nudged by God so I stopped anyway.  I parked on the square, having never seen so many parking spots at 11 AM, and walked to the cross walk.  I wondered if I should instead stop in The Tap and see if Matt was working today.  I wrestled around with that as I know they only sell beer and no food.  I do like some beers, but know it only takes a small amount of alcohol for me to need a driver.  So as I am having this conversation with myself, who comes into view?  Matt!

Matt used to work in JL Waters but now works three doors down.  My son, Stephen, used to go to JL Waters when Matt worked there and discuss outdoor gear.  Stephen got a lot of stuff there.  A lot of great stuff with Matt's help and my credit card.  And I'll be using some of it on this hike.  Matt is standing in front of The Tap because he is waiting to get let in to work.  I am so excited because now I get to talk to Matt and not have to buy beer or bother him while he is at work.  He tells me he has helped a lot of people get ready for hiking the AT.  Yeah, me!!!!  All that to say, we are getting together this Friday to discuss and plan for the hike Joshua and I will do for two weeks, and then the one week David and I will hike.

I tell you all this because I have felt that God has been teaching me to listen to His still small voice.  As of the last month or two, I have been working on asking God questions during the day and straining to hear Him.  Example: I was heading home and about to pass Wally World when I wondered if I needed to stop and get anything before I passed by.  I couldn't think of a thing, but I felt I needed to go anyway.  Not long after having gotten my buggy (sorry, I'm from the South and that's what we call it) and heading past the Veggies, I ran into one of Stephen's friend's grandma.  We stop and chat and she tells me how much my Facebook post, after a funeral I attended, meant to her two grandsons.  And how much my son, Stephen, is still having an impact on those guys.  I told her how proud and honored I am to know those guys who were not afraid to walk alongside me when Stephen died.  As an adult, I have had a hard time knowing what to say or when to say it.  I even thought it didn't matter if I even showed up at that funeral.  But this group of young men, Stephen's friends, are not afraid.  These young men ask how I am doing when we meet, give me hugs, tell me stories of things they did with Stephen, and that they miss him.

I don't remember what I bought at Wally World that day.  I think I was supposed to go in to "run into" Debbie.  I hope it was to encourage her.  I know I was encouraged.  I know I ran into Matt today because I was listening to God after I asked the question about stopping at JL Waters.  I am starting to trust that still small voice more and more.  More of you Lord, less of me.  
He must become greater; I must become less."  John 3:30

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