Summer. The time when many of us plan family vacations to see places we’ve not seen before. I know some friends who have made it their goal to visit every National Park in America, and so far they’ve made it to many.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of our nation’s historic hiking trails that were established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 as a way to follow the paths of our ancestors. From the California Gold Rush days of the 1800’s, to the Lewis and Clark trail to discover a path to the Pacific Ocean, to the path of freedom Martin Luther King, Jr. forged in the 60’s; all are meant to help us recount, retrace and reflect on how far we’ve come as a nation.
I love such history for it allows us to remember the faithfulness of God in all sorts of circumstances. Being able to walk the steps of those who have gone before us is a privilege we should not take lightly. Each step was marked by sacrifice and a willingness to face danger and hardship for the good of those following behind.
We are marking a similar trail of our own. It’s a marriage trail, and it too, is marked by sacrifice and a willingness to keep our vows when the feelings wane.
We take each step in faith believing that God is leading us in our one-flesh nature to become more like His Son. Jesus Christ. It is a path to freedom, like Dr. King forged, but not from persecution; it is from the obligation to serve and exalt self above others. It is a trail that we hope those coming behind us will follow and enjoy.
My grandparents on both sides made it to their Golden Anniversary, as did my parents. My sister and her husband are only 5 years from this milestone, and my brother and his wife were married in 1979 like us. Our 40th anniversaries are next year.
I know much of our family’s history and record some of it in my book, Through The Eyes Of Grace. What I don’t know is how much of their commitment to their marriage vows has shaped my own conviction to keep ours.
We may not all write a book or keep journals chronicling our journey as husband and wife, but we do leave markers along the way. I’ll delve more into this idea in my next post.
Until then, “Happy trails to you” as my Dad would often sing.