Despite the spectacular and slightly stomach-churning views, the need for walkie-talkies at certain sections, and the constant watch on the clouds soaring up the rock face and over our heads, the trip was rather uneventful apart from a successful summit of the mountain I had dreamed of for a couple years: Three Fingered Jack. I suppose this is a good thing, as an eventful trip could have ended in the ER at best-- and who needs more bills to pay?! I can probably attribute part of this uneventfulness to the host of prayers rising from the direction of my mother. God heard her.
Sometimes you have to trust the person who is going before you, the one who knows the route, the rock, and the way to the top. He has been there before. He knows how to keep you safe on the cliff edge, in spite of the shifting loyalties of the ever-so-inviting hand or foot holds as you climb. This is the comfort we have as believers in the midst of seemingly insurmountable odds! In honesty, however, very rarely have I found myself in situations that demand a Three Fingered Jack kinda faith; walking on a knife edge, with little but trust that God sees you and is holding your steps in His capable hands. But how alive the prayer life is under the circumstances! One of my climbing companions pointed out how much easier it is to simply hike the daisy trails with God. The groomed paths, low elevation gain, streams checking in with you every few miles to replenish your water supply. You don't have to pray the "God I really need you now" kinda prayers and wait in that moment of distress to see what He works out.
So what does this mean? Are we to seek out Three Fingered Jacks, forsaking the fair weather in favor of a trust-testing tempest? God knows the path, be it through meadows or on the heights. The meadows don't make us any more "safe" and the mountain paths don't make us any more "in danger" as long as we are following the Good Guide, the Overseer of our souls. In the end, He knows the trail for each of us and will guide us along it in His own time and way. The focus needs to be upon Him, no matter the terrain. Seeking a path other than the one He wants for us is to distrust His perfect plan.
|View from the summit|
Father, give me faith to trust You along any portion of the trail, whether looking down over several thousand feet of air or gazing out over a pleasant field. You know the way, and I do not. Make me willing, make me able to follow You anywhere You lead.
Phil. 4:11-13 ; Heb. 12:1-3 ; Is. 42:16-17