"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

11 August 2014

it's a faith walk

the trail about a half mile in from trailhead up Wakely Mountain
9 August 2014

At first it looks easy.  There's even a couple of little well-made and well-maintained wooden bridges spanning the creek.  No rock hopping here!  Just a nice, wide woods trail.

and then..............

photo courtesy of Cheryl A. Blask

after the first two miles of a well worn, fairly straight trail that was more like a walk in the woods and only took an hour to do....................we come to this:
looking down the first section of the last mile
Wakely Mountain/Central ADKs

(photo courtesy of Richard Fey)
a relentless, steep, and vertical climb. For a mile.  On rock.  Slippery, wet in spots, with flat sections that don't even last for a full minute.  The trail twists and turns.  We climb on hands and knees in one spot.  We need help.  We hold onto the pine boughs leaning over the edge. We pray for a breeze.  We pause to drink.  We don't pause to take photos because if we pause we might fall down, exhaustion and pain permeating to our very fingertips and toes.

And I'm worried I won't make it.  I need to do this trail!! It's on the Fire-tower Challenge.  It's one of the highest peaks on the challenge (3,744 feet!). If I do this, I'll only have 6 more in the ADKS to climb.....the thoughts just kept swirling through my brain as my feet kept climbing...and aching........

I was with some amazing hiking partners.  Husband Dave couldn't go with me on Saturday so I met my friend, along with 2 members of her hiking group.  One was a man who lives up in that area and is a good hiker.  A woman whom I met that day because she joined my friend's group, was wearing jeans and flip flops. Clearly not an experienced hiker even though she said she is.  Most mountain hikers know NOT to wear jeans and ONLY hiking boots or high quality sneakers on a trail.  It was going to be a long day.........

3 miles up.

3 miles back.  and dealing with plantar fasciitis. And more than 2 trail books that say this is a strenuous, difficult hike.  Am I crazy???

Yup.  I'm a goal chaser and mountain lover.  The only reasons for hiking with a foot issue like that.  I knew I would be in pain coming down but I think I was  hoping for a miracle.  It didn't come.

Rather, what came, was discouragement and weariness.

I loved the hike...it was a lot of laughter, a lot of grunt work, a lot of water consumed, a lot of groaning with cries of "when does this trail end?" to "Oh my goodness, look at this gorgeous view"! 

 It was the disappointment in how slow I had to climb/walk/crawl.

It was the weariness of dealing with chronic pain for the last 6 weeks.

It was the frustration that my faith is low and the the fact that I am forgetting Who made my body....Who designed us......Who made the mountains, the falls, the woods, the stream, the pines............

And so this morning, I turned a page in my little prayer book I have and saw the Scripture from 2 Samuel 22: 32-34

"For who is God, but the Lord?  And who is a rock, except our God? The God who has girded me with strength has opened wide my path.  He made my feet like the feet of a deer, and set me secure on the heights."
photo courtesy of google images

God can give us strength when we feel like we're failing.......be it physically or emotionally.....He gives strength.  

God is there for us.  Trying to do life with out Him, at least for me, is like trying to tackle those giant slabs of granite and that almost vertical trail.  It's rough.  It's sometimes disastrous....one little slip of the foot and down you'll go..........slippery mud, loose leaves, hand over hand and crawling up granite on your knees......trudging along with one foot in front of the other....barely able to enjoy the wooded sights because to look anywhere but on that trail could mean certain disaster.

But.....although we plod on, we can know that God is there for us.  My friends were there for me......they patiently waited..they hiked slow, too....they didn't mind...we knew it was all about the experience.....

and I did have the faith that I would make it....painful as it was............frustrating as it was..........

 Me and friend Cherystarting the last mile of the trail up Wakely Mt
(photo courtesy of Richard Fey)

it's like our spiritual journey through life......  

our faith, when we live by it, can be like the well-kept trail....it can be a smooth walk....there WILL be trials, no doubt...but we can rest in that assurance that God is there.....to strengthen our souls....to guide us. He will make our steps sure.  He will help us reach our goals!

Fire tower on summit of Wakely Mt!
We don't always know why God has us where He does....why we walk a certain path on this journey called life.....His ways are not our ways.......

but when we allow God to breathe in us........and guide us on our life journey.............that journey, although difficult at times, will have a great reward in the end...........

view from the fire tower
photo courtesy of Richard Fey

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, not are your ways my ways, says the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."  ~Isaiah 55:8 & 9~

Keep walking..........in faith........... 

and enjoy the journey!


Susanne said...

Wow, what an amazing view for a reward! You do some pretty serious hiking. I cannot imagine doing that flip flops! Sometimes our walk with God is just keeping on, putting one foot in front of the other trusting in His guiding and in His goodness.

Deb said...

I love this post. What a great hike. What a great metaphor for life and walking with God through faith. That scripture in Isaiah at the end of the post is one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day.