This summer I was blessed with the opportunity to partake in one of my favorite things-traveling. Along side of my family, I packed my bags and headed out the door, anticipating the adventures that awaited us thousands of miles away. While trekking through the western parts of the United States, I discovered 4 important concepts.
1. It is HOT. Heavenly, overwhelming, and treacherous. Oh, and over 100 degrees in most places.
2. The pain is always worth it.
Hiking miles up mountains each day was by no means easy at all. There were times some of us felt like it was impossible to make it to the destination. The constant agony moving through different parts of the body were certainly a hurdle to overcome to reach our goal. However, with the encouragement from one another and hydration provided to us in the dry lands, we were able to push through. We kept on moving, and eventually made it to the grand view and all of that pain just seemed to dissipate at once.
Life can be quite the hike at times. We face challenges that hurt us and tug at our hearts-challenges that make us feel like we want to give up. Sometimes we are blinded by the world to seeing the purpose in perseverance. Through the power of the Lord our life is given purpose. Through Him we can conquer our hardships and find meaning in them rather than burden. Through Him we can see how our loss can be gain.
3. Stay on the trail and follow the blaze.
One of the first and most important rules you learn as a hiker is to stay on the trail and follow the blaze. It is strongly encouraged to stay on the path, not only to prevent erosion on the side of the mountain, but also for your own safety. Danger awaits outside of the trail: predators looking for their prey, the uncertainty of what steps to take that are stable, and the often inevitable- becoming lost.
We often find ourselves at a crossroad and have decisions to make. Every decision you make determines the direction you are headed. I encourage you to consider this before you decide to take a step off the path that you should be headed. Once again, the trail may have some rough points at times that will tempt you to veer off and take what looks like a shortcut, but beware, for it is really the road to destruction.
Proverbs 4:26-27 - Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
4. See God's grand design.
Among the many different and unique places I saw and explored throughout this trip, there was one key similarity. They were all God's design. My reaction to these sights was immediate awe in His glory and power. It humbles me to feel just how grand His creation is. This Earth, my friends, was no mistake.