FAITH-FILLED LIVING | SWEET TREASURES | SIMPLE PLEASURES

Nov 12, 2012

Pioneer or Settler?

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Looking Eastward on the Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail serves as a tribute to the 400,000 people who followed its wheel-rutted course. I have long admired the courage of those who consolidated their lives and dreams into vulnerable covered wagons.

Pioneers did the ground work. They conducted explorations, forged and cleared trails, created maps, documented dangers, promoted the positives... Settlers took leaps of faith — usually with much prayer — and always with the intent of putting down roots.

Have you ever thought about what best describes you? We are all pioneers and/or settlers to some degree.


Three Sundays ago, Barry and I visited the East Boise section of the the Oregon Trail. When each wagon train reached this point, they had just endured the hardships of the Idaho desert. It was on this ridge that they caught their first glimpse of hope: the fertile Treasure Valley.

As I walked along the trail, I replayed an earlier conversation. Barry and I had acknowledged an openness in our spirits. We love mountain life, yet we were suddenly entertaining a move to the valley. Practically speaking, Barry's workplace and our church are situated on the western edge of Boise. We would save a bundle on gas and I would have more use of our one vehicle. Spiritually, we see ministry opportunities.

A week and a half later, we received a phone call from our landlords. Despite the fact that our rented home is not on the market, it appears that our neighbor's family would like to purchase it. I will admit that my being open to something rarely means that I am in a rush.

Our current home is our 3rd residence since moving to this old mining town. We have felt more like pioneers than settlers — physically and spiritually. We have also acclimated to rural living, something Idaho has no shortage of. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

Happy trails,

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