July 10, 2004

Hiking the Grand Canyon

Talked last night with my dear friend in Holland. She is a very sweet, godly woman who has gone through quite a bit this last year. We both have fibromyaliga, are Army wives, etc.

So Anyhow, she was encouraging me that the L-d doesn't give these type of trials to just anyone but only those who He knows can "take it" and who is calling to a closer, deeper walk with HIm.

I knew that but it always helps to hear it from others. In my heart of hearts I long to KNOW G-d to trust Him in all things, but I really don't want to walk through all this! So I guess it's a conundrum -- in order to walk closely with Him and reap the joys we have to walk through life on His terms.

I have often related this to hiking the Grand Canyon (Yes I have. I met my husband there summer of 87 when we were both working there.) It's a breathtaking sight and adventure but when you are hiking you must be prepared first of all........Food, water, layers, moleskin for blisters, quick-kick(nasty stuff that replaces electrolytes...trust me you grow to like it!)a hat, sunscreen,flashlight, a pack and a map if you aren't on a main trail. Hundreds of people have to be rescued every year because they aren't prepared!

But when you are actually hiking it's a single file trail most of the way so even though you are probably with a group you are still on your own in one sense, hikers hiking up and mules going any direction have the right of way. SO you must be prepared to yield, sometimes in places it doesn't look like you can.

Also,you don't look up at the rim while you are hiking. Perhaps on rest breaks and every once in a while but not the whole time. You simply concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. The reason is that if you watch the rim it appears to be getting further and further away! That you will never get there.........It's enough to make you give up and take up residence in the Canyon!

And then the last part of the trail is the steepest..........Is this fair? On almost all the trails but especially on Bright Angel this is true. So many people start off at Bright Angel Trailhead thinkin...I'm just gonna hike a little ways and come back because then I can say I hiked the Canyon. Uh-huh. Then they turn around and have a 1 1/2 mile HIKE uphill.

When you reach the top though,how sweet it is. To breathe in pine scented, cool air, drink some cold water and look down on the Canyon!



So too I have ridden the mules to Plateau Point. There is that heart stopping moment when they descend over the edge of the rim and it feels as though you are going to tumble right over their head! Trust is essential......Most of the people on my ride couldn't' even walk by the end of the day because they wouldn't trust the mule and sit up and enjoy the view.


It strikes me that in many ways the Christian walk is very similar! How often do we fail to prepare? To keep putting one foot in front of the other because the goal appears to be getting further away and not closer? To trust the one we have chosen to ride with and then can't walk at all? To enjoy the view along the way? To yield the right of way to other hikers/help them up the incline?

How much easier would this life be if we just would give it to Him? To realize that this world is no more our home than the Canyon?

How sweet it will be when we have reached the "top" of whatever "canyon" we are in! Words will not be enough.

For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the L-d, Plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. ---Jer 29:11 NASV

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."---Jer 29:11 The Message




So , Keep trekking and I'll see you on the trail!










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Thoughts

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." .... Jeremiah 29:11 (esv)