Pioneer Life {Lessons from the Trail}

by Kari on July 4, 2012

We began our Oregon Trail journey with a covered wagon and a rodeo!

This morning at 6am we loaded our sleepy-eyed children into the car for our 2,388 mile road trip.

We have all the essentials: Water bottles, snacks, hand-sanitizer … and 23 library books on the Oregon Trail. 

Lately, Pioneer Life is the topic of our home. Dutch’s fascination with cowboys led to a fascination with pioneers which led to a fascination with the Oregon Trail. We are up to our eyeballs in Sacagawea, Cameahwait, Lewis & Clark, and Charbonneau. And the timing is perfect since the last part of our road trip is actually traveling the Oregon Trail from Boise, Idaho back to Oregon City, Oregon.

But more than just an educational road trip, all this study of Pioneer Life has got me reflecting upon the Pioneer Life of the Christ-follower. Really, all of us who leave our past life and sign up for the journey of faith, are part of this traveling family of Pioneers, sojourning in this life, moving into a forever Kingdom and taking others with us along the way (1 Peter 2)

The more I read of Pioneer Life the more my heart is stirred, my faith ignited, my spirit longing to live a life of real faith and reckless abandon to our God. There is something asleep inside that’s being stirred to trust Him more, follow Him more, worship Him more, love Him more.  The Oregon Trail wasn’t safe, wasn’t easy, wasn’t quick. There was no instant gratification, and no guaranteed results. BUT, those precious Pioneers were part of something bigger than themselves, and their bravery, courage, and perseverance inspires me beyond words. The parallels between those pioneers and our early church brothers and sisters are many. Chuck Swindoll said this:

“In vain I have searched the Bible, looking for examples of early believers whose lives were marked by rigidity, predictability, inhibition, dullness, and caution. Fortunately, grim, frowning, joyless saints in Scriptures are conspicuous by their absence. Instead, the examples I find are of adventurous, risk-taking, enthusiastic, and authentic believers whose joy was contagious even in times of full trial. Their vision was broad even when death drew near. Rules were few and changes were welcome. The contrast between then and now is staggering.”

Doesn’t something inside your heart sing, just a little, when you read these words? Yes! Amen! Wouldn’t the world take notice if they truly saw Christ-followers who were marked by adventure, risk-taking, enthusiasm, joy, authenticity? What if our lives were characterized by faith? What if we happily left behind the padded life of comfort, just a little, in order to embrace a life of believing Him? What if we prayed about everything we needed? What if our first response to every need was to turn to heaven and simply ask?

So this week, on our pioneer-road-trip-adventure, I’d love to share a few lessons from the trail, nuggets He’s unearthing for us as we travel this life of faith, learning from pioneers, seeking to live like pioneers.

{Will you travel along with us? There’s sure to be some blisters and brawls along the way, but what a privilege it is to travel with Him into a new place of adventure and faith. I’m excited to see what we’ll discover. Thanks so much for joining us, and for reading. Happy Independence Day!}


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirstin July 4, 2012 at 6:04 am

Great entry, Kari!
Growing up near Oregon Trail historical landmarks, my siblings and I regularly played ‘pioneers’ together, utilizing our Radio Flyer wagon and butcher paper for our covered wagon! :)

Linking these amazing forefathers of ours with a pioneering journey with Christ is just incredible.

Thanks so much for sharing it, and I hope you and your family have a lovely (and educational) time together!



Debra July 4, 2012 at 8:25 am

My ‘virtual’ wagon is hitched and ready!


Kari July 4, 2012 at 9:55 am

I’m the grandma…travelling with the adorable pioneers part way. All of this started by a trip to Las Vegas for a family wedding. What a great example of the “teachable moment.” Oma


Kari July 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm

haha, you are logged in as me somehow, Mom. :)


Becky July 5, 2012 at 9:01 am

Wishing you all safe travels & blessed family time together!!! Have fun!


Lacey July 5, 2012 at 10:15 am

I’m looking forward to hearing more, Kari! Safe travels!


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