“Wait...for…me…” I panted to my over zealous hiking group.
When a few friends suggested a short hike was a great way to spend a beautiful Fall day, I pictured a long, straight grassy road. This was a mountain.
“Please..Just…stop, now.” My three friends looked over their shoulders and saw my plight. Out of courtesy they sat down on make shift seats consisting of tree stumps and mossy cushions.
“I take it you don’t like hiking. “ Lucas, the leader of the group, remarked to me.
“It’s not like I don’t like it. It’s just…well... I’m a soccer girl. I’m used to flat surfaces.” I stared down at the little ants crawling all over my new hiking shoes. They were busying themselves collecting whatever crumbs they could find for food.
“Why don’t you guys go on ahead. I’ll catch up.” I said sheepishly
“Are you sure Jess?” Lucas asked.
“Yep. I’ll be fine. Go on.”
I was bid farewell by my small group of explorers who then proceeded to head up the steep embankment.
God, even though my legs feel like they’re going to fall off, I can’t help but think how beautiful it is up here.
A few minutes passed and I managed to regain my breath. I decided to continue walking. As I walked along the steep path I couldn’t help but relate the intimating climb to my Christian walk.
So many times I’ve wanted to stop midway, throw my hands up in air and say, “God, I give up.” But somehow, for reasons unknown to me, I continue walking.
“Left foot, right foot, left, right.” I muttered to myself. My eyes plastered on my feet as I continued the walk.
And this is usually how I end up living my Christian walk during those tough times. My eyes focused on making it another step. Taking small steps in the right direction.
I looked up when I realized that I had reached a crossroads. I glanced to the right path and noticed that there was a beautiful lookout point just ahead. I walked carefully through the overgrown roots and loose rocks towards that beautiful gap in the trees. The view was break taking. Splashes of orange, yellow, green and red speckled the forest valley below.
This is amazing God. I’m so glad I didn’t turn around when I wanted to…You know God, this is like my relationship with you. We go through these trying, difficult times when everything looks bleak and incapable for good of any kind, and right when we want to give up-you give us that break. That little experience to say to us ‘Hang in there.’ There’s beauty that’ll come with pain.
Jessica, if you think this is beautiful, just wait until the next clearing.
I continued walking. Aware of what God just spoke to my soul. A few minutes later, I reached another clearing. This one more beautiful than the last. Sunlight danced along the rivers and streams below, casting an array of iridescent beauty. The view stretched for miles. Miles of lush autumn trees all dancing in the wind, swaying to the rhythm of their Creator.
Wow! I thought the last clearing was incredible, but this is breathtaking. I looked up the mountain and realized I had almost reached the top.
I continued marching on. Within fifteen minutes I was standing on the pinnacle peak of the small mountain gasping for air as I stood gazing at amazing sight.
Each clearing held only a small glimpse of this amazing picture of God’s creation. But with every step I climbed, I reached closer and closer to this-this incredible artwork painted by the Ultimate Artist. God, you see my whole life. You don’t see parts or glimpses, you see it all. I know I can trust you when You tell me to continue pressing on. Even though I can see only pieces of my future and the plans you have for my life- I will continue to surrender to You. Lord, I want to look back on my life and see this-beauty of no comparison. And I know that to get there, I need to take life one step at a time. And realize that each step I take towards you brings me closer to my God given destiny.
“Hey! There you are!”
I whirled around. My special moment broken by the chatter of my friends.
But the lessons I learned and the preciousness of that moment has never been broken.