Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mountain Madness part 3: Coming DOWN

Whew. A group of us climbed up the mountain, enjoyed the view from the top, and now it’s time to head back down.

Wait a minute. I don’t want to go down. I don’t want to head back to the place I was before; I don’t want to deal with hectic schedules, another day of running around, heading off crises while taking care of a family and a home and, oh yea, myself. This trek up a mountain with the beautiful view from the top leaves me changed. I see this experience as one of those times in life I cannot remain the same. For now, though, I need to simply hold onto that experience like another item in my backpack, and take the challenge of heading back down the mountain.

My friend said it was steep. The signs say it’s steep. But I didn’t know “steep” until I was going backwards down the rock formations to get to the next lower level. Like before, I was given suggestions to help my footing—walk sideways, take small steps, have one foot braced before moving the other—but I was taking those suggestions more seriously this time. I was trying to remember any scripture that could be dusted off in my memory about standing on rocks or having my feet grounded, and all I could think of was “trust in the Lord.” Yikes. Can’t I do that while standing on level ground? Apparently not, sometimes. Sometimes I need to be heading down the sliding board of a mountainside to realize that I am truly freaked out. I was actually quiet since I couldn’t talk and concentrate at the same time.

Trust and gratitude. It was about all I could feel—trust that God will get me back down because there’s nothing left to trust, and gratitude for my friends and their practical tips along the way. They even helped out by carrying some of my things—my water bottle, the camera.

It really is the same as life, isn’t it? When things are tough and I’m freaked out beyond my own abilities, it’s then that I know God will show up. And He even sends my friends to help me out, not in those intangible “I’ll pray for you” ways, but hands-on help by carrying my load, and practical tips and suggestions on making the way easier, safer, smoother. In these mountain reflections, I’m reminded that I want to seek after God’s presence in my life on level ground, too. I know God is there, but I forget. This mountain madness adventure was a much-needed reminder about dependence on God. Trust and gratitude; so simple but so challenging.

Tip of the week:
Last week, I suggested something “new” in the routine to boost health/fitness goals; this week, I’m suggesting we try something “old”. We all have a favorite food item, walking path, recipe or technique that has worked for us in the past—let’s do that again. For me one of those old techniques was to pray to God and promise that I wouldn’t blow it with my eating that day (or that hour, or that minute—whatever it takes!)—I can do that again, and again, and again—whatever it takes!

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