Walking, we move forward step-by-step. In March of 2020, I started experiencing shooting pain in my
leg. As an avid backpacker, this was most depressing for me. The pain crippled my mobility and seemed
to coincide with the crippling effects that the COVID shutdown was having on our country. Our family
travel club business lost 85% of our repeat customers and virtually all of our revenue. There was some
fear of losing our business and the investment we had put into it.
Although I was working with a Christian Science practitioner on both the leg and the business issue,
neither situation changed. It came to me to analyze the reasons why people would join a travel club.
These were many of the same reasons why I enjoyed being part of the long-distance backpacking
community: camaraderie with like-minded travelers, an economical way to travel and to have
adventures, to make memories, and a way to get out of your comfort zone, bless others, and see God’s
beautiful world with new friends.
The common thread with the travel club members and with hiking friends is that we all loved (and
missed) travel. Although the government prohibited travel during the COVID lockdowns, the idea came
to me to hold “virtual” travel events each week with club members. Each Sunday evening for two years
club members met online for an hour and took turns presenting slide shows of fun places that they had
traveled. This was indeed a divinely inspired idea.
Putting together a weekly travel presentation, often with a 10-minute cooking segment of exotic
recipes, was a lot of work but very rewarding. It was great to see travel friends from the USA and
around the world. We laughed a lot and shared adventures from many foreign countries and beautiful
domestic places. We kept the club together. Although we didn’t have revenue during this period, we
were blessed by the camaraderie. We did step out of our comfort zone and gave presentations. And we
made plans for the future when a more salubrious atmosphere would permit travel. Spiritually speaking
we had lost nothing.
In February 2022, I was invited to join a group of Christian Scientists for a week-long mountaineer trip
that July, in which we would backpack then climb a 14-thousand-foot mountain. As the trip approached
I still could not walk without pain. The Practitioner helped me isolate in my thought what was keeping
me from having a healing. First, the pain, and second, I was afraid of going on the trip and messing it up
for the other ten hikers. A revelation came to me in the form of a question: What are two things that
God did not make? Pain. And fear.
The Practitioner advised that I approach the trip step-by-step. I went on the trip and prayed with every
single step, knowing logically that, if God did not make pain, then it could not be in my experience. As
for the fear, the group of hikers with whom I would be backpacking were so kind and thoughtful that I
could do nothing to mess up their experience. We had a beautiful week out in nature: every vista was
like a tour through God’s art gallery, full of joy and sharing. Peaking the 14’er was truly uplifting.
After our return to camp, we held a debrief at which we shared gratitude. I had not told the others,
until that point, about the problems that had been trying to overcome. They had comments like, “Dude,
you crushed it.” The healing was so complete that I returned to the mountains a month later to climb
another 14’er, still using the approach of praying step-by-step.