Last month I talked about my experience hiking on a trail in Morgan Hill. If you missed that blog, you can find it here: https://www.arukahproject.org/post/finding-god-on-the-trail-1
The Lord spoke many things to my heart during that hike as I experienced some life lessons. During the very long ascent, I found myself incredibly tired. I even started to think I was going to run out of water, a big problem for any hiker and a fundamental prepping error on my part. Since I hadn’t gone this direction before, I was having difficulty gauging just how far along I was or exactly when I would reach my long anticipated mountaintop peak.
There was a point when I noticed the trees were thinning and the trail was beginning to look more open. I got excited as I was certain I was nearing the peak. With a sudden surge of adrenaline, I picked up my pace, ignoring the profuse sweat pouring out of my everywhere!
As I rounded a bend, I could see the summit just ahead of me. There was a large oak tree sheltering me from the blazing sun and it would have been a good moment to stop, rest, take a few sips of my dwindling water supply and grab a snack in preparation for my final ascent.
The draw of the summit was enough to inspire a sprint to the top, but the wisdom gained from age, the naggings of my fatigued, aging body, (and likely the Holy Spirit) prompted me to stop and take a moment to cool off, fuel up and hydrate. There was a soft breeze blowing and I was grateful for the rest. My heart was feeling lighter as I knew I had just about reached my goal and all my hard work was about to pay off.
After a few blissful moments, strengthened, hydrated and rested, I gathered my things and started on what would be my final steps toward the finish line. As I hiked up about fifty yards, my heart sank. Instead of the beautiful clearing I had anticipated, the trail took a sharp turn the opposite direction leading me on yet another, and steeper incline. The shady spot had given way to relentless sun and I realized that there was much more to go. It was disheartening to say the least and required more of me than I had to give at that moment.
The Lord spoke to my heart, “when you are in the midst of a hard climb, take advantage of times to rest, you will need it to finish your journey, otherwise you will burn out”. His words rang true in my heart. So often, I have thought, I don’t need to rest, I’m almost finished. I'm famous for saying, “just one more thing”. But the reality is, it’s rarely just “one more thing”. In fact, there is always another bend in the road. I had created a “false summit”, and as a result, had nearly missed an important opportunity to rest, refuel, cool off and take care of myself. Honestly, I was so grateful I had taken that time to rest. I could have easily become dehydrated and exhausted during the next section on the trail.