Paul Stutzman met Pathfinder (his trail name) at The Mill Restaurant. He was a celebrity of sorts and a repeat offender on the Appalachian Trail.
Before beginning his thru-hike of the AT, Stutzman followed the travels of Pathfinder. He always wished their paths would cross, and now they had. But Pathfinder was a kindred spirit in more ways than one. When Stutzman questioned why he continually hiked the AT year after year, his answer stunned him: “Well, Apostle (his trail name), my wife died of cancer about five years ago.”
Now Apostle understood. He too had lost a wife to cancer, had walked away from his employment, and was now thru-hiking for the same reason. Pathfinder continued, “If I’d kept my business and not done that hike, I’d be a rich man today. Instead, I’m happy.”
Contentment. What everyone is after in one way or another. A more ancient “apostle” had the answer in his lifetime, and it still holds true. Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it (I Timothy 6:6-7 NLT).
Apostle, Pathfinder—and thousands of others each year, seek contentment hiking a 2,176 mile footpath that begins in Springer Mountain, Georgia and extends to Mt. Katahdin, Maine. For Apostle, it wasn’t the hike itself that brought contentment but his re-connection with his Maker through observing his handiwork in the sites and people he met along the way.
Though I—like many others, often seek contentment through possessions, popularity, and power, the key is quite simple: it’s about a relationship with Jesus Christ. When loving and serving him are the ultimate focus of my life, I discover contentment.
Where is your search for contentment taking you?
Prayer: Gracious God, remind us that ultimate contentment is only discovered through a daily walk with You.
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