Often times when I'm hiking alone, I ask Jesus to hike with me on the trails. It sounds silly at times (sometimes I even wonder if it's nothing more than an imaginary friend), but it's important for me to stay connected with my Creator. I call these "Jesus walks." When I stand before a breathtaking mountain range, forest, wildflower, river, animal, insect, etc., my soul is filled with appreciation. When alone, it feels completely natural to direct my gratitude towards the heavens. The mountains and forests often feel like my church. It is where I feel closest to God, where the lessons of life are often revealed through the natural cycles.
I love science, religion, history, and philosophy, and try to keep an open mind to whatever possibilities may exist. While hiking a trail in Griffith Park one morning, I overheard a couple in conversation. A woman was talking to her friend about someone she knew: "Unfortunately, he has such an open mind that everything spills out all over the place!" she said to her friend. I thought that was an interesting analogy, something to be careful about. I see no reason why science and religion cannot coexist. Perhaps different trails, but ultimately reaching for the same destination, the truth. At least that's how I see it.