Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Up the Ski Slope

About a month ago my family and I spent a week in Maine. We had a wonderful time. One afternoon we decided to hike up a ski slope that was around the corner from where we were staying. I have never been skiing, so I had no idea how high and how steep ski slopes are. All I was sure of was my love of hiking, and that the view was sure to be spectacular. 

We started up the slope feeling ready to conquer the side of the mountain, but only two of us made it to the top, my husband and our ten-year-old nephew. Ralph, my mother-in-law and I made it up farther than the majority of the group, but considering our group was made up of mainly young children (including nine-month-old twins) that is not surprising. It was a difficult hike. There wasn't a path to follow. The grass and weeds were a little overgrown, and there was hardly any shade. Some areas were very steep and wet and slippery. I used several tactics to keep me moving up the mountain. I traveled slow and steady with few breaks. Then I did fast bursts with frequent breaks. I walked up a straight line and then walked up a zig-zag line. Finally feeling defeated, I made my way down. 

Once most of us were back on flat land we quickly realized we had ticks in and on our shoes, so we took them off, and stuck them in a bag. Ugh, ticks are the worst! Then we waited until everyone was back from the hike before heading to the lake house. When we got back to the house, someone asked how the hike went, and I quickly responded, "It was probably the worst hike of my life. But I am happy I did it." 

And I was happy. Tired, and a bit sore, but happy. The hike was difficult, but the many breaks gave me a chance to appreciate the distance I had traveled and enjoy the magnificent views around me. I wanted to turn around about fifteen minutes into the hike, but I knew that I would be better for continuing forward. The happy satisfaction I knew I would feel at the end of the hike kept me going.

Isn't that the way it always is with the hard situations, the struggles? Sometimes our life journey is hard, but we have to keep moving forward, taking breaks when necessary, and always remembering to still seek the beauty that God has placed all around us. 
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