Follow God’s example, therefore . . . and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
— Ephesians 5:1-2
As I neared the end of my hike on the Appalachian Trail, I reflected on the hikers I’d met along the way. I didn’t catch many given names, but I could remember some hikers’ trail names: “K-Bar,” “Poppins,” Pioneer,” “Red Dawn,” “Rhino,” “Shorts,” “Motel,” “Tank,” “Rosie Eagle,” and “Two-Step,” to name a few.
These “trail aliases” don’t reveal much, but they may hint at traits or preferences. Most of my conversations with hikers centered on miles hiked, the next stream, weather, gear, or the trail itself. Some conversations took place for a few minutes while resting along the trail; others took place over a few evenings at the same campsite. Sadly, those fellow hikers and our conversations are now fast becoming wisps of fading memories.
How much meaning do we give to the brief moments when we meet with fellow travelers on life’s journey? God, who created every human person who has ever lived, knows each one intimately— and that makes every person we meet precious. Though it may not be possible to share the word of Christ with every person we meet, perhaps even our most fleeting encounters can be opportunities to share something of his love. To cultivate an attitude of love surely means keeping our eyes on Jesus and letting his love for us flow out to everyone.
Lord Jesus, as we walk with you each day, help us to share your love with the people that we meet. Amen.