Go on a long walk that symbolizes the Christian life, and take along some special equipment to learn the importance of prayer, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, the Bible and fellowship.
Go on a long hike that provides a significant physical challenge for your children. The purpose of your adventure is to illustrate that the Christian walk can be hard, but if we use the tools God has given us, we can get through it. The “tools” include prayer, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, fellowship with other Christians and Jesus.
You’ll use different aspects of your hike to show how each of these tools can help your children live a victorious Christian life. You’ll need to bring along snacks, drink, and a map of your route. You may also wish to print out the following comments and Scripture verses to read at different points during the hike:
- Prayer is represented by a rope because prayer connects us to God and His power.
Give your children the opportunity to discover how much easier it is to climb a steep hill with the help of a rope.
1 John 5:14
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- The Holy Spirit, our Counsellor, is represented by a compass or Global Positioning System (GPS). The Holy Spirit is our special helper whom God sends to give us direction. Although we cannot see Him, we can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and hear His direction when we invite Him to be a part of our lives.
Show your children how a compass points north, helping hikers find the correct route. If you have one, show your children how a GPS provides direction.
“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
- Jesus is represented by bread and water. While you are eating the snacks you have packed and drinking some of your water, explain that just as food and water sustains our physical bodies, so a relationship with God sustains our spirits. Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life and said that He provides people with “living water.” Tell your children that God made us with a “hunger in our hearts” – the desire to know Him. Without a relationship with God, people’s souls are hungry and thirsty.
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.”
John 6: 47-48
“I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life.”
“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.’ ”
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
- The Bible is represented by a map. While you are hiking, show your children the route on your map and talk about how the map guides you on your hike. Liken this to God giving us the Bible as a guidebook for life.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
- Christian “brothers and sisters” are represented by the fact that you are hiking together, rather than alone. Encourage each other as you walk the trail. Discuss how much more fun it is to hike with other people than alone. Also bring up safety issues that would be a concern if someone were to hike by himself/herself.
Hebrews 10: 24-25
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the day approaching.”
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
At the end of your hike, thank God for all of the useful “tools” He gives you to help you persevere in life. Thank Him for giving you strength so that you can persevere.
Note: During summertime, take adequate drinking water and protection from the sun. In wintertime, take precautions based on weather forecasts and carry additional warm, dry clothing. Whenever you hike, regardless of the season, be sure to let someone know where you will be going and what time you plan to return. Be prepared with a first aid kit and take a cellular phone.