As I stood at the base of Smith Rock in Bend, Oregon preparing to embark on a hiking journey up Misery Ridge for the first time this season, I felt a little overwhelmed. I looked at the rocky path that led to switchbacks that would propel me to the top of the cliff above; I knew that for the next 40 minutes I would be required to continue to put one foot in front of the other even though my lungs would be screaming “STOP”!
As I began to climb I tried to keep my eyes on the path and on the beautiful view around me because I found that whenever I focused on how far I still had to go, I doubted my ability to press on. Step by step, switch back by switch back, I pressed on. As I took my last four steps to the top of the trail I could peek across the horizon and the expansive view ahead of me; it was Beautiful! All the effort it took to get to the top was well worth it!
In thinking about the climb the Lord directed me to remember, again, that whenever I am facing challenges and changes that could overwhelm me I need to remember to keep moving, one wise step after another, I need to take time to enjoy the “view” along the way, and I need to discipline myself to focus on the journey without getting overwhelmed with the destination. My first time climbing Misery Ridge I had no idea that there was such an incredible view at the end of the challenging hike. If I had aborted the climb because of weariness I would have missed enjoying an incredible view!
The Word says: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5 , “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?
Life is full of “climbs” though I much prefer the “green pastures” along the way! However, if there wasn’t a Misery Ridge or two in our lives we would miss the opportunity to see something incredible unfold in front of us that would have been impossible without the climb. So get your hiking boots on and “let’s go!” 🙂