I spent last week at the Presbyterian camp and conference center in Montreat, North Carolina, situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I grew up not far from western North Carolina and often enjoyed time in the area. Last week, I kept a busy schedule while attending a conference. But I did break away one evening after supper for a hike along Flat Creek that runs through the valley where Montreat is located.
The trail is called Elizabeth’s Path and meanders alongside the stream and among the lush green trees and plants that inhabit the landscape. As I walked I took in the sights and sounds around me while keeping an eye on the path ahead. I found myself at ease again as I listened to the babbling brook and took notice of the late summer wildflowers that grew in the rich soil along the stream.
As I walked I imagined what it must have been like for Adam and Eve to walk in the cool of the evenings with God in the garden. I found myself wondering about such things as who chose the path they would take or did they decide together? Did they walk side by side or in a straight line and who led the way? What about creation caught their attention? What did they talk about or laugh about or wonder about and did they sometimes simply walk in silence? Did they always take long walks or sometimes short walks? How often did they take the same path and did they sometimes make a new path in the garden?
I don’t have answer for these questions. But I do suppose that those walks were meaningful and memorable. And I would bet that once sin separated them they all missed those walks together.
The good news is that God kept at it and keeps at it still. God is still our traveling companion along the paths of this world. Sure, it’s not quite the same as a stroll with the Creator of the universe in person after supper; but it is still meaningful and memorable. There is still time together; there is still determinations about what path to take; there is still good conversations and laughter and silence.
As you walk this life I hope you’ll find that God is still walking with you—sometimes taking the lead; sometimes taking you by the hand; sometimes following you with words of encouragement.
And I bet that if you take a stroll outside sometime after supper you just might find God waiting there for you—maybe he’ll speak through the babble of the brook or the breeze through the leaves; maybe he’ll show you something beautiful and inspiring; and maybe in your mind and heart you’ll get a good sense that he is with you and will never let you go.
Whatever and whenever you are walking just remember we travel not alone for the God who started it all with evening walks in the garden is walking with us still.