Today, Anne and I ventured into Harrisburg for our hike. We looked at the weather reports last night, and with having no way off the trail if we ran into trouble, we decided to take the safer route and complete our mileage in Harrisburg. We dropped Scott off at work, and headed for Front Street. There is a very nice walking path there. We began walking, and not long after, we realized that we both needed to use a restroom. Unfortunately, we were no longer in the woods, but instead were in a residential area of the city. Talk about an unexpected problem.
The greenbelt was a very pleasant surprise indeed. I never would have guessed that I could find such a peaceful atmosphere within Harrisburg, and as it was mid-week, we practically had it to ourselves. We walked along the river for several miles, and then took a turn to the east, where we walked along a pleasant stream called Spring Creek that wound its way along the path for several miles. We stopped on a bench for a bit of a break around 12:30, and found that we'd gone just over 6 miles in the two hours that we'd been walking. Having light day packs and a level footpath certainly makes a big difference! About an hour later, we came to this spectacular garden called the Five Senses Garden. It was an oasis within the hustle and bustle of the city. When we entered, we found ourselves surrounded by the beauty of God's creation.
Earlier that morning, Anne and I had talked briefly about how nice it would be to get away with our sisters in Christ sometime, where there was no agenda, no itinerary to follow; just time to be with one another in fellowship and worship. I think that sometimes, we have a tendency to get so locked into programs, that we can lose sight of what is really important; the time we spend in relationship with God and one another as He had originally intended before the fall. Having a program, schedule, or itinerary in itself is not a bad thing, in fact those things are often necessary when planning any kind of event to keep things organized. I wonder though, how often we stubbornly refuse to get out of the way when God has other things in mind.
Just yesterday, Anne shared with me her favorite quote from Gandhi. He says, "I know the path. It is straight and narrow. It is like the edge of a sword. I rejoice to walk on it. I weep when I slip. God's word is: 'He who strives never perishes.' I have implicit faith in that promise. Though, therefore, from my weakness I fail a thousand times, I will not lose faith, but hope that I shall see the light when the flesh has been brought under perfect subjection, as some day it must."
Just before we left the garden, Anne and I came across a placard that faced a clearing. Through the clearing we could see atop a hill, the Dauphin County prison. the placard read, "When we have done all the work we were sent to earth to do, we are allowed to shed our body, which imprisons our soul like a cocoon encloses the future butterfly. And when the time is right, we can let go of it and we will be free of pain,