(Originally posted 2013)
Today, after a long week at MTI, Shawn and I went for a hike. It was beautiful, breath-taking, and rejuvenating. We had heard that the Reservoir Trail was gorgeous, so we decided to set out on it after lunch. For me, it was a good hike. We went from 7200 feet to 8200 feet. My lungs were protesting.
As we rounded each corner, I would look at the seemingly endless path and sigh. (OK, sigh isn’t quite the right word when you are already huffing and puffing.) But after my experience with the beehive this summer, I knew I was going to keep going and get to the destination. We reached a point where there were some big boulders off to the side and rested to take pictures. Then we reached the first reservoir, and it was beautiful. The ice was formed on most of it, and we could walk out on to big boulders that made a bridge across. The rocks were warm from the sun and the it was relaxing. I could have stayed there and napped, honestly. And it was so petty, I figured I had seen the best part.
But Shawn wanted to go on to the second on, so we did. The climb got more steep, and we had to take more breaks. My heart was pounding, but it felt good to push myself. There were a couple of times when I thought, “Why do we keep going? Let’s turn around and head downhill.” But we made it. And wow – was it worth it!
The sun was shining across the water, there were woods with a shore lined in pine needles and clear water. It was quiet. Peaceful. Breath-taking. I was in awe of the beauty that God had made and soaked it in.
As we headed back down, I kept seeing the places that I had wanted to stop at because they were “pretty enough”, “high enough”, just “enough.” And though they were still pretty, they didn’t compare to the beauty at the top – the place I had to push myself to. (The place that will make me sore tonight!)
I was thinking about that in my spiritual life. We have been pushed this month – especially this last week. We were stretched, pulled, prodded. One of my friends here said she felt bruised from all the poking. Yet we all agree that this week has lead us to a place with God and within ourselves that we hadn’t known before – or at least hadn’t been to in a long time. I want to remember this as we continue. I want to push ahead when it feels like I can’t go any farther. And I want to be able to do that because of the times that I have rested and been revived in the journey. The Sabbaths I take. The talks with my Father I have. The times I simply listen as He sings a long song over me and my soul is satisfied.