The beginning of June I participated on a road trip to South Dakota, which I blogged about 2 weeks ago. I am living proof that one can survive winding mountain roads in a Tahoe with five other females and survive all the hormones! Seriously the journey was a learning experience of shared struggles, hopes and joys of all of us. God has a way of providing teachable moments and this was no exception. I am also proof of being able to complete a 10-k hike to the top of Crazy Horse and with exhilaration make it back down again!
The goal was simple – get to the top. Along the way I learned a few things:
1) Have a walking stick. It helps with balance and footing
2) Keep your destination in view
3) Watch your footing
4) Walk with a friend
5) Keep hydrated
I did not bring along a walking stick, but after the first half mile I located a broken branch, which substituted nicely. Thank you God for that, because it brought to mind the shepherds and disciples who carried a staff. It provided protection (of course I didn’t have to fend off any animals) as well as support. That was essential because the trail/path curved around, up and down through some varied terrain.
While the 90’ carved head of Crazy Horse was impossible to miss. I had to keep watching my path. That made me recall the parable of the Sower in Matthew 13. And, yes I wasn’t planting along the way, but I certainly encountered rocky ground, heat of the sun, thorns and prickly underbrush as well as some good soil. I reviewed that story over and over in my mind as I made the climb.
That in turn caused me to remember Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” As I kept my destination in view, in the shaded areas I had to be mindful of broken twigs, vines, rocks, partially hidden stumps and even slick wet grass on some downhill slopes. So “watching your step” was crucial. Me, the novice kept saying a simple prayer, “Lord guide my steps.” I could admire the creation surrounding me, but I had to admire the Creator more and simply praise and thank him for the beauty as well as the friends and occasional conversation along the way.
During pauses and water breaks God opened dialogues where I could listen, learn and share. A journey traveled is always better when shared with a friend. God provided many. One lady admitted how important it was having an extra bottle of water in her back pack. And the next morning a devotion I shared in our cabin with my five travelers made me smile. It was entitled “Drinking the Living Water”. The author noted: In warm weather it is important to stay hydrated, because stress and heat take a toll on our bodies, but even more when the stresses of this life attack us spiritually, it is essential to have a healthy portion God’s word, grace and forgiveness – it hydrates and nourishes the soul. I just love how my Lord ties everything together!