this is not a walk in the park

A few weeks ago, I ended up on a hike that was a lot more than I anticipated.  And really, I should have  known.

The sweet young thing who recommended this hike did describe it as "a little challenging."  She's an avid rock climber.  And 23.

Plus, there was this sign.  At the top, it says "This is NOT  walk in the park."  And at the bottom it says, "Are You Prepared?"

A couple of hours later, while hauling my shaking, aching body up a chain anchored in sheer rock, I had to say, "I Really, Really Wasn't, Thanks."

Living in Texas, I hadn't been anywhere near a mountain trail in three years.  My legs, in the meantime, had apparently forgotten what it meant to go up and back down again.

Afterward, it took three days for my legs to heal and function properly again.

I hear questions like this from clients all the time:  "What's wrong with me?  How come I feel so bad?  Why can't I get over it?  Am I going crazy?"

Life happens, and sometimes it happens very badly.  Were we prepared?  Adequately trained?  Unlikely.

When it comes to the really bad stuff, we usually have no prior experience.

Which I guess is a good thing.  But still.

We do so love to have some control, to know what the next step is going to be.  To gauge how much more blood, sweat, and tears will be required.

Most of the time, though, I think all we can do is keep walking, climbing higher.  Following the trail.  Checking in with our fellow hikers.

And trying not to hate the ones who are jogging.  I kid you not.  Jogging.  I personally felt that was just arrogant and unnecessary.  Bless their hearts.

But finally, finally, finally, we come to the top.

So this is me, at the top of that leg-killing mountain.  The Squamish Chief in Beautiful British Columbia.

I think these are the kinds of places God wants to take us.  Beyond what we know, beyond our comfort zones, beyond the pain.

Into that crazy-beautiful mystic place of peace that has nothing to do with our circumstances.  And everything to do with our Redeemer, who lives.

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