The Amazing Story of Dave Kunst

Do you have a habit of not sticking with things?  Like diets, for example?  Or exercise regimens?  Or spiritual disciplines like Bible reading or prayer?

If so, you need to know about a guy named Dave Kunst.

On June 20, 1970, he and his brother, John, left Waseca, Minnesota, to travel around the world.  That’s not so unusual, right?  Lots of people travel around the world.  Except that these guys planned to do it on foot.

Accompanied by a mule with the greatest mule name in history, Willie Makeit, they walked to the east coast of the United States and stepped into the Atlantic Ocean.  Then they flew to Lisbon, Portugal, where they stepped into the Atlantic and resumed their journey through Europe.  They walked through mountains, deserts, heat, cold, and yes, even bullets.

In Afghanistan they were fired on by robbers that thought they might be carrying a large sum of money.  John was killed and Dave spent four months in a hospital.  But even that wasn’t enough to cause him to quit.  When he recovered he was joined by his other brother, Pete, and continued on his way.

It took 4 years, 3 months, and 16 days, but Dave finally walked back into Waseca Minnesota from the west.  He’d walked 14,450 miles, crossed 4 continents and 13 countries, and wore out 21 pairs of shoes.  A conservative estimate would be that he took 20 million steps.*

I read one time that the two week mark is the critical juncture in any attempt to establish a new discipline.  For some reason, fatigue, boredom, distraction, and a host of other factors decide to gang up on you at that point.  Experts say that if you can just weather that storm, you have a great chance to make a real, lasting change in your life.

The next time you feel like quitting something worthwhile, think about Dave Kunst.

For further reflection read Hebrews 12:1 and 2 Corinthians 4:8-18.

*Jud Wilhite, Faith That Goes the Distance (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002), 50-51

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