It took me near a year to find out there is such thing as MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) here in Clarksville. MWR provides areas of recreation to boost morale among soldiers who may be far from the comforts of family and home as well as creating healthy welfare for soldiers returning from deployment. You can go horse riding, hunting, fishing, team building course, camping, and all sorts of other outdoor recreations.
I was surprised to see the horse stables but even more surprised on the price to board a horse so to bring Peterbilt to Clarksville still is not an option. However because they have horse trails, they can be used for hiking too. I’ve been interested in Lake Taal for a while which is a lake just behind the stables and had heard from friends that they have camped down by the lake. This interested me as well as excited me.
Yesterday, I decided to go hiking down by the lake because I was told the horse trails wrap the lake and I thought it would make a good hike. However when I arrived down by the lake, I didn’t find any trails nearby. I drove over to Sportsman Lodge, a German restaurant, and found a couple of horse trails near and so I threw my daypack and boots on and took off.
I did walk down to the lake. I had to bushwhack down to it from a trail. I was highly disappointed. The lake was crusted over with mold and looked very dirty. It was not what I was expecting in a lake. It also looked shallow but I’m not sure about that. I had heard stories about helicopters taking soldiers to the lake for a drop out. I hope there is some depth for them to be dropping out of aircraft into the lake.
It was a very nice, cool, and easy hike. I saw lots of squirrels and even kicked up a group of deer. I was touched to see the deer take off right down the trail in front of me like kids on a playground. It really was amazing. As I hiked, I had a little talk with Jesus. I told all about my troubles. I’m sure He heard my feeble cry and I’m expecting Him to answer me by and by. (Did you see what I did there?)
After some time hiking (nowhere near the lake) I got to thinking about what Benton MacKaye, the visionary for the Appalachian Trail said. He said the purpose of walking is “to walk. To see. To see what you see.” The more I thought of this quote, I tried to wrap my mind around what he meant. I found an old log to sit down in the quiet and just prayed about what that meant to me, a hiker. As I flicked ants off of me and as I stared down the trail, I feel like this is what God laid on my heart.
It means to be and be intentional.
What does that mean? I think it means sometimes when we do things, we just do them for the mere idea of our presence is there. As men, we think spending time with our wife is sitting on the couch. She on the computer and us watching tv. This is just being. But being intentional is totally different. It means spending quality time with your wife by engaging with her.
Sometimes when I’m hiking, I just walk not really paying attention to where I’m at or what I’m doing. This is just being. Being intentional as a hiker is being aware of the different species of trees growing in harmony together. It’s being aware of the spider web being built-in a nearby limb. It’s being aware of the squirrel that is running around the trunk of a tree hiding from what might threaten its life. Being intentional is being aware of the terrain that you’re walking on, whether it’s dry dirt or muddy, or rocky.
I’m reminded of the song Great Is Thy Faithfulness in verse two where it says
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Sometimes just being is ok. I like to relax my heart and mind and just be. Sometimes, I like to be intentional and make myself aware of my surroundings and who I am with.
My hike was refreshing yesterday morning and I will be heading back to Ft. Campbell especially since it’s practically in my back yard and takes me literally 5 minutes to get there.