I’m a big fan of the phrase “kill two birds with one stone.” There’s something about the simplicity and efficiency of that phrase that appeals to me. As my wife and I were talking about my thru-hike practice run, I commented to her that the trip was beginning to feel selfish.
“We’re going to spend all this money and time on the thru-hike, and the only people who will benefit will be us? Instead of feeding the poor with $15,000 I’m just going to spend it on some hike? Something feels wrong about that.”
So I started thinking, “How can I kill two birds with one stone? How can I pursue a lifelong dream and seek the kingdom of God? How can I make this a personally fulfilling trip for my family and I and be a blessing to others?”
And then I remembered the Appalachian Trail passes through some of the most impoverished corners of our nation, where Americans live like Third World refugees. What if I turn my Appalachian Trail thru-hike into a travelling ministry? What if I preach the Word on the Trail to anyone who is willing to listen and visit local churches on Sunday? Maybe they’ll let me preach; I’ve got the degree for it! Maybe we can visit shelters and hospitals, the whole family praying alongside people, brightening people’s lives with the light of Christ. What if we were able to take some of our savings and bless a handful of families along the way who can’t afford groceries that week. That would be a trip worth taking, I think, but I could be wrong.
What do you think? Does that sound crazy?