This is a big post but hopefully you all find it interesting. Enjoy.
My Plan vs. His Plan
When starting this trip I really had no idea what to expect but I originally planned to walk every, or close to every step, of every mile. That was "my plan". God had another plan of his own. Even early on throughout the trip I would get offered rides at "interesting" times. I hitchhiked a few times the first week or two due to lack of faith, but since then I have only excepted rides when offered and most often I turn them down. There would be a certain sense of pride that would have come along with being able to say "I walked every mile from coast to coast". There was a lady a while back that offered me a ride and I accepted so I could make it a little closer to the campsite that I had in mind. I only wanted to go 5 miles, and had my mind set on walking a specific distance that day. After a 20 mile ride and a great conversation, it was very clear that that ride was meant to be and that I, and hopefully her too, would be inspired to grow closer to God. As we parted ways, it was like a got punched in the head... God was saying "this is not just about YOUR plan for the day". This was made crystal clear to me. Throughout this trip I am trying to learn how to go along with God's plan and not mine. I try to wake up each day and have minimal plans, and just see where God takes me. It is those days that are so fascinating to see how I have been blessed, along all the stories that come along with that day. This is something that I still struggle with and would be blessed if you could say some prayers for me in this area: That is, to go along with God's plan and try to be an instrument for Him. I also challenge you to just contemplate what your plan is for today, this week, your life... and then contemplate and pray for what God's plan is for you.
Jeremiah 29:11-13: "For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD..."
God bless all of you,
P.S. Here are a few pictures (and captions), videos, and maps to help keep everyone updated. Enjoy:
Also, here is the latest SPOT tracking beacon link of my location: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0RqaCWQXIjE7D4bXX0MBtk3Xsm7XdnCAL
My Mom and Dad came down to surprise me (they live in Minnesota so as I passed through Iowa it was as close as I'd get to home). They spent the day walking by my side!
A rare night on an actual mattress!
My friend, Joe, also surprised me (since I was so near my home state). Apparently he has a bit of a 'poet' in him because here is what he wrote about his trip down to visit me:
"On the trail, on course, and in good spirits! Chowing down on a beef stick with the back to a windy corn field in Moville, Iowa. Tractors rolling through town from the surrounding area and even out-state, backing up small town traffic on asphalt patched roads. Tan lines from boots, skin having a tint of orange. Spending the night on the fair grounds, sounded like he was able to save a few bucks on this site tonight (0$). Stocking up on supplies and groceries I'd say Danny looks a good 20 lbs. lighter then when he left but still keeping shape.! About half way their."
As Grandpa Fink would say "That's a beautiful thing to behold"
My parents surprised me with a new pair of hiking boots, which I was in dire need of (compare the old sole (bottom shoe) to the new sole (top shoe)! I guess that's what 3 million steps looks like on a hiking boot... Thanks again, Mom and Dad! That was unexpected!
My parents and myself at a campground for the night.
Meeting friendly people along the way.
Hello, this is Daniel's eldest brother, Robert. I wanted to add these (Daniel would be too humble to put these on the blog)... but as a proud older brother I wanted to get these onto his blog: He has now made it into two newspapers. I thought they did a very good job portraying Daniel and his pilgrimage. What stood out to me was Daniel's radiant joy. Have a look:
Responses to some questions I've received (about weather and day to day living):
So lately I have been getting the sense that I need a good beard trimming and clean up. I have heard comments like (as I walked into a bar/grill to get some food), "We have a shower downstairs if you need it", and (walking into a gas station I asked if I could use their restroom), the response was "As long as you don't shower"... These are nothing compared to peoples facial expressions as I walk into a library, restraunt, grocery store, etc. I usually just smile and kind of find it amusing. I have also been entertained lately by peoples different waves and by the look on their faces as they pass by on the road. Also, as I walk through towns, people will not even look at you.
Today as I walked into the town of Carroll, I started to feel a little different. Soon I was feeling a headache and nausea coming on. I was near a Church and went in to cool off to what I took as heat exhaustion. It took about an hour to cool down and feel a little better. I have had a few questions lately like "what do you do when it rains?" With this warmer weather, even if it is a downpour, I do not put on the raincoat, but rather just enjoy the cool rain! It is simply a blessing. Also "where do you stay at night?" I would have to say that 75% of the nights are sleeping in the tent. The most common places consist of RV parks, Campgrounds, city parks, and the random persons yard when invited to. I try to get a hotel about once a week to clean up and get a good nights rest. And I have been lucky enough to stay with a few parishioners at parishes along the way.
Well, this was a huge post so hopefully it didn't put you to sleep. Have a good one,
Over and out,