That expression, "Take a hike." has a pejorative meaning to it. But I think if someone said that me, I'd smile and say, "Don't mind if I do; want to come?" How many people in our lives find us annoying and presume that our thoughts toward them are negative or judgmental, when actually, we simply disagree. It is, in fact, possible to disagree without being disagreeable. I think of G.K. Chesterton who had so many friends, like George Bernard Shaw, whose worldview was diametrically opposed to his. And yet they were good friends. I think it was H.G. Wells who said if he made it into heaven it would be because of the prayers of his friend Chesterton.
I think taking a hike or a bike ride with a difficult family member can be a real experience of communion.
When you are both walking or riding in the same direction with the same goal in mind, it gives you a point of connection. And when you are both facing the same direction, not making eye contact, it can also be a perfect opportunity to discuss something difficult or embarrassing. I used to do that with my children when they were young. When you're on the move, it's sometimes easier to talk about things than when sitting looking at each other across the table. Less confrontational perhaps?
So, how about it, want to take a hike? We have some great spots in the Valley and when May/June come I plan to hike Crabtree Falls to see the Mountain Laurel. There's nothing like hiking in God's beautiful world to give you the proper perspective on things.