Squeal with delight

I thought my life was about to be over.

The excursion was my idea. After all, I’d craved adventure most of my life. But I had no idea the predicament I’d gotten myself into. My goal to see the sunset from the top of the massive granite mountain (Enchanted Rock, in the middle of the Texas Hill Country) seemed impossible after only a third of the way up.

My heart raced and fear took hold when I realized the difficulty of the climb. I reasoned with myself, uncertainty setting in. I don’t know how I’m going to get down.

My 16-year-old son ran and jumped from one boulder to another, loving the climb in this rock paradise. He heard the distress in my voice and stopped long enough to encourage me to keep going. Holding out his hand, he gave me a pull up a time or two.

I continued taking one step after another, over one rock pass to the next until only a smooth rock slope lay ahead. Looking up was the only option. Looking down caused queasiness, so I forced my eyes straight ahead and up.

Alone with God

The task seemed insurmountable. As soon as I hiked far enough to see the horizon, I sat down, frozen in place. My son hiked up the last incline and out of my view. I couldn’t know if he was safe because I remained rooted in my spot.

I watched the sunset but mostly prayed because I doubted my ability to survive the hike down. You probably think I’m being dramatic. My son did. But my fear was as tangible as the rock dome in front of me.

The sun dropped below the horizon. I sat completely alone with my God as I watched the sun’s decline throw pinks and purples against the sky. I half-heartedly thanked Him for the view.

Eventually, I found the courage to stand. (I certainly didn’t want to walk down in the dark.) Taking one step, then another, I weaved my way down inch by inch.

When my feet hit level ground, I looked back at the mountain with a sense of awe and accomplishment. As sure as the shadows deepened from the setting sun, I knew I couldn’t have made it on my own.

Lessons learned

God taught me some things from that experience.

  • Keep going. Do you have an insurmountable task in your life? As my son shouted to me from a distance, I speak those same words to you. “You can do it. Keep going.”
  • God walks or runs and even climbs with you. Take His hand and let Him lead you one step at a time. One rock at a time.
  • Be sure to look forward to the reward at the end and enjoy the adventure. Looking back, I wish I had enjoyed more moments at the top instead of worrying about the journey ahead of me.

This experience reminds me of other challenges in my life. Can I apply these lessons learned to other areas? Absolutely.

I find it interesting and reassuring that God uses distressing situations to inspire us to work on other areas in our lives.

Often, I convince myself I can’t accomplish something because of a lack of discipline. I question God’s calling to this ministry. Will I trust Him and put in the effort to climb to the place He wants me to be? Can I release my worry to Him and enjoy the journey? Do my children see my joy throughout the day, or do they only hear my correction?

You might have similar questions or challenges, or a mountain to conquer. These words speak to us all. Keep going, take God with you and enjoy the adventure.

I thought my life was about over that day. But I found God had so much more in mind.


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