Friday, June 03, 2011

The upward climb

Early this morning, just as the first rays of light were coming over the horizon, I took a walk to what my friend calls the second meadow. It's a small meadow about a mile and a half from where we are staying. The trail is rough, rocky, uneven, but the quiet and the view is wonderful. I walked for about 40 minutes to get to this second meadow. I had hoped to see an elk, a deer or maybe a bear, but I saw none of them. The morning was great. Crisp, cool, actually a little cold, but wonderful. I had to watch my steps, there are rocks everywhere. The path is not smooth. If you're not careful a turn of the ankle could make this a very difficult walk.

Then I arrived. A beautiful little meadow in the middle of nowhere. It was amazing. It was quiet. I don't think this meadow sees more than a few humans in a year, but I was there. I had reached the meadow. For a moment I paused to enjoy the scene, the cool air, the sounds of birds and the breeze in the trees. All around were mountains, but here in this spot, in this moment there was a calm. It was worth the walk.

But I began my walk back I realized something that hadn't seemed too important on the walk here....I had been walking downhill for those 40 minutes! The entire trip back was UPHILL! When I say that let me clarify. This is Colorado. Uphill is always steep. In fact, the climb was steeper than I had imagined. My pauses to catch my breath, to rest my legs grew more and more frequent. Air at 10,000 feet is thinner than what I'm used to. It made the climb seem even more daunting. Around each corner of the path another stretch of path upward...another challenge, but I couldn't stop. I had to get back to my destination. Stopping here, on the path, only part way back was not an option.

So, onward I walked, more frequent stops, longer stops, more air needed. Yes, I'm out of shape, ok? But onward I walked, and I thought, my Christian life is like this. My walk with God is just like this walk in the mountains. I read about this theme all through David's words in Psalms, this idea of a journey, a walk through difficult places. Always, as David made these treks he would pray, "Lord, help me through this part of my journey. There's no one to help but you."

In the midst of the upward climb of the Christian life there are rocks to avoid, there is the need for a time of rest, there's the ongoing need to keep going.....because you have to get home, you can't stop here. Around every turn the road seems to climb even more, the rocks are still in the way and I have to watch for them. But, as I finished my walk this morning I thought, there is a day when we will each finish the course laid out for us, we will each finish the race God has us on. It's a walk with a wonderful home ahead, but it's not always easy.

That's the nature of the Christian life, isn't it? The one great thing about this walk is that all along the way God is with me to help me, guide me, encourage me, and at the end of the path is home.

Psa 56:13 For You have delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living.

Psa 143:8 Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.


Robyn Rochelle E. said...

so thankful that you are getting some R&R!!!! An answer to prayer!

Colleen's Mom said...

I've walked this trail before and know about shortness of breath, aching legs and the need to stop and rest often. Appreciate the analogy of the Christian walk. I'll remember this the next time I take that walk.