Thursday, March 08, 2007

Walking Across America

On Monday, March 5th one of my dear friends, Craig Leaming set out on the third leg of his journey across the United States. His goal is to wlk across America (follow his journey online at starting in Des Moines, IA and carrying out four separate journeys to the far edges of the US.

In the fall Craig walked from Des Moines, Iowa to New York City in about 35 days, averaging around 40 miles a day. At one point on his trip to NYC, he actually walked 73 miles while traveling through the Appalachians. This humble friend will tell you that Jesus is carrying him the entire way. I have to believe him.

After he completed his journey to NYC, he took a short break before trekking north to the Canadian border from Des Moines. He tackled this trip in about 2 weeks and had some amazing stories to share about the beauty of God's creation and the folks he met along the way.

Despite everyone's concern for the weather, Craig was faithful to his calling to leave on Monday, March 5th from Des Moines in his quest to reach the Pacific Ocean in northern California.

My family has been blessed to offer him the opportunity to call our voice mail system and I've been posting his audio journal entries to his site after he calls. Today was his first call and he's already to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Praise God! He sounds like he's in great spirits and that God is once again carrying him west.

In checking the weather, it's going to be pretty decent the next week and he should be blessed with 40-50 degree weather...perfect for walking 40 miles a day!

Now that we got all of that out of the way, I wanted to share with you what was really on my heart. You see, on Sunday before his journey, many friends and family members gathered at the Leamings to pray for them and show their support. My wife and I got there a little late as things were winding down but we were blessed to be a part of the closing prayer. I happened to stand next to one of Craig's sons, Joey who is in his mid-20s and living for God. He and his beautiful wife are actually planning on heading to Jamaica at the end of the summer on a 5-year missions journey.

As we slowly went around the circle praying for Craig and Diane, the folks he would meet, revival in the US and more, the prayer time finally reached Joey. Choking back tears, he prayed his heart out for his daddy who Joey mentioned was the perfect example of how to be a father and live faithfully for God. He continued to pray words of affirmation, encouragement and love for his dad.

And as I stood next to Joey gripping him with my arm around his back, I asked God in my heart if I could stand in the same position and hear that from my three sons. God said it was possible if I continued to faithfully live for Him.

That short time in prayer made me realize the impact I have on my beloved children. It made me realize that life is too short and we should NEVER take for granted these blessings bestowed upon us from God. It made me realize the importance of loving and serving my family as Christ came to love and serve the church.

Thanks Joey for the words from your heart. Thanks Craig for living out a life of faith and obedience to God. Thanks Diane for your banana bread. hehe. She's an awesome baker but more importantly a VERY supportive wife and Godly woman! =)

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