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  • Eric Kampmann

A Walk in The Woods

See Ecclesiastes 4:9–10, 12

I enjoy hiking in the woods alone. On one particular trip, the trail took me up to a ridge on a low-lying mountain range in central Pennsylvania. On such trips, the familiar noises of civilization can often be heard: the distant rumble of a passing freight train or the subtle hum of an interstate or just the low-grade sounds of distant activity filtering up to the trail.

But on this particular day everything was different, for as I moved further along the rocky path, I began to notice the absence of sound. The feeling of isolation became palpable, and the sense of sudden vulnerability crept into my thoughts.

It is at times like this that one can feel a deep appreciation for the power of two. If I had fallen while alone, I would have been in trouble, but if a companion had been with me, I would have been helped. If I had become lost, my friend would have assisted in finding the way back to the trail. Alone, my chances of success would have been greatly diminished.

This noiseless world, beautiful and intriguing as it was, left me with a feeling of aloneness and mild foreboding. Quite suddenly, a bunch of “what ifs” flooded into my thinking and it seemed like I had stumbled into a world outside of God’s design. I strongly felt the need for a companion. So while the walk was memorable, I was relieved, in the end, to hear all the familiar sounds of human activity once again. For to me these noises were the sound of friendship and safety. It even occurred to me that the noises from below were the sounds of love. It felt good to be back.

–Eric Kampmann, Signposts

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