Over the years God has repeatedly drawn me to the Triple Crown hiking trails. I feel God has revealed an analogy through these isolated wilderness avenues. This analogy is a picture of a wilderness journey we are about to walk in America. It will provide the necessary lessons we will need for survival in the days ahead. Let us begin understanding how to live in readiness, with minimal material requirements, by exploring the struggles of making a successful thru-hike on one of these Triple Crown wilderness trails. Thru-hikers are individuals who hike the entire trail on one continuous journey, covering thousands of miles. They are the civilian experts in long distance hiking and wilderness survival. Our journey will be navigating thru the perilous times soon to come to pass in America.
These trails are not in the mainstream thinking of leisure America. The Triple Crown Trails consist of the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail. Each of these three trails tracks north and south, traversing along one of our nation’s three major mountain ranges. They wind through the most rugged terrain in our country. “As these mountainous trails represent the natural divisions of our nation from the east to the west, just so our country will soon become a nation divided in conflict.” I don’t want to frighten you. I want to inspire you to see the need to get physically hard, to downsize your life, to train without fainting, to fast the conveniences that weaken us (start walking) and to start thinking outside the box of peace and safety.
Consider the analogy of the Appalachian Trail which is the eastern most covering 2,167 miles, beginning at Springer Mountain in Georgia and ending on Mt. Katahdin in Maine. This trail is the shortest in distance but some believe it is the hardest because the stony ground makes it necessary to watch carefully where you place your foot to avoid stumbling and possible injury. Something of interest is the fact that the Appalachian Trail treks through the east coast population corridor. Could it be that the Lord is drawing a picture of urban America that will soon become a wilderness environment? Trail life is about discipline. It means you ration food while you protect your food sack. You must be on the alert for hidden dangers. You pace yourself and deal with any injuries because there is no advanced medical care.
Consider the analogy as it relates to the Continental Divide Trail which begins in Southern New Mexico and ends in Glacier National Park, Canada. This trail completely divides the nation and stretches the longest at about 3,100 miles. The Continental Divide, itself, is a water shed division. It is a place of separation, a dividing of the waters, and a critical place of direction where destiny is written in the heavenlies. It is the high place of hard choices. That is to say, as our nation becomes completely divided, we will have to make some very hard decisions. I have found it easier to make the hard decisions by choice, ahead of time, rather than to wait to be forced by circumstances to adjust.
Consider The Pacific Crest Trail analogy which starts along the border of California adjacent to Mexico and ends along the state of Washington’s border with Canada. It is the western most trail tracking 2,650 miles. The west coast corridor seems to be the easiest to walk but herein lies great deception. The thru-hike window is shorter therefore you must cover more ground quickly. Not only can you burn out physically but emotionally as well because it is isolated and extremely lonely. Could the analogy be the Lord revealing that lies and deception will vex our souls and drain us of our will to survive?
Nights on any trail can bring uneasiness, a sense of your own mortality, a sense of being the desire of a demonic, fearless predator. Your movie-instilled sense of being the ‘can't lose anti-hero’ quickly slides into silent prayers asking God for your protection. You struggle to sleep but it never comes because your heart aches for the light of day and its safety. In the not too distant future you may well remember these words about the trail.
Our analogy lies between hiking a literal wilderness trail and the reality that we stand on the threshold of eternity. As we stand on this threshold, we are no longer blind to the dimension on the other side, but now we see clearly and are active participants in its eternal unfolding. A successful thru-hike of God’s maturation program requires our cooperation and willingness to endure the hardships of this step by step journey.
We’ve turned our churches into entertainment centers with scripted sermons and drama presentations on expensive sound stages. They leave no room for the Holy Spirit to speak into the hearts and needs of God’s people. We are drowning in the Americanized Gospel of self-centered, soulish expectations. We want to be entertained and hear what we want to hear. We think that God’s richness is in the amenities of this life, which we strive to obtain, but fail to realize that true richness lies in Christ-like character. Jesus learned, though he was a Son, obedience by the things which he suffered.
Unless we provide understanding through the whole counsel of God, that tragic things do happen to good Christians, we open the door to disappointment and confusion about the character of God which can cause many to fall away. When the money machine and successful me programs don’t work, people internalize it and question God, “…is something wrong with me or maybe this whole thing is a joke.”
The Triple Crown trails promise no illusions, as I have experienced, they are the greatest equalizers in the world. Trail life demands everyone carry their own load with very human limitations. It is the trail of hard knocks where money cannot buy your way home. You must walk it out, enduring the elements of real life, with the prize of eternal life at trail’s end. As my sister once said, “Each person must do his own praying. We can’t expect someone else to do it for us. God will talk to the simplest person if that person makes time to listen.” We cannot outsource our relationship with God to a pastor or other Christians. Each of us must carry the responsibility for our own relationship.
In these corridors of wilderness existence, I feel God is revealing things you might need to consider for yourself and each of your family members. There is a new standard of living coming to America and it is way below the poverty line. There are no luxuries in a backpack because weight becomes the limiting factor for what you can carry.
Since 2002, Steve has been warning our nation that it will again enter into another Great Civil War and that it will be one of Lawlessness vs Civil Order.