It's just a simple wooden pole. I bought it years ago on a trip to the Smokey Mountains. Handcrafted by an artist in the heart of Appalachia, it caught my eye and I bought it. At home in Iowa, I didn't use it much. On our mostly flat and paved trails, it didn't seem to be needed.
But on the mountains of Virginia, this stick was a steady companion. The majority of the hikers on the Appalachian Trail used modern trekking poles. However, I had one hand occupied with Molly's leash, so this worked very well for me.
My hiking pole was helpful on the uphills, hauling my out-of-shape, slightly rounded body up the steep slopes. I also used it on the downhill, helping me balance and make my way around boulders. In areas of fallen leaves or overgrown weeds, I employed it to make sure there were no snakes lurking. And I even swung it in front of my short-legged hiking companion to remind her that dogs needed to "go behind."
In our walk with Christ, we need a "hiking pole" as well. Prayer is what hauls us up the mountains, helps us maintain balance in our lives, and can even alert us to danger on the trails.
Too often, we are like me walking on the trails in Iowa. Things are not so tough, and we leave prayer in a corner of the garage.
Don't wait for the steep inclines in your life to resort to prayer. No matter what trails life has you on right now, don't step out with your hiking pole of prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
Susan Lawrence taught elementary school for 33 years before hanging up her chalkboard to write and speak. She writes novels for both adults and middle grade children. Susan lives in Iowa with her husband and short-legged Lab, Molly. She has 3 children and 7 grandchildren who love to hear her stories.