Several summers ago, my oldest had his arm in a cast all summer, so we had to find a new hobby besides water activities (girlie does not do well in heat and has a caregiver a few afternoons each week, so I can take the boys to do something “normal”).
So, that summer we investigated all the many hiking trails near our new home.
One particular mountain nearby is a pretty steep one mile hike to the top, where there are rocks to sit and enjoy the view of the surrounding cities and towns in all directions. It is one of the boys’ favorites, but it feels a little like mom’s nemesis. My heart rate gets going as we climb, the path gets rough from time to time, and I definitely can’t keep up with my 15 year old. So, the other day as we climbed, I told my oldest to just go on, carry the back pack, and meet me at the top (without eating/drinking everyone’s snacks before we get there, lol).
My sweet little one stayed with me as we hiked, and he has a pretty good handle on reading his mom, suggesting often we sit when he found the perfect rock to sit on.
When the trail gets extremely rocky and steep, I have trouble looking at anything but my feet. I have to see where I am going, know where my foot is going to land, and I have to take it really slow. The older I get the slower it seems, and the more cautious I am about where I walk. I definitely don’t want to twist my ankle, or my knee, or pull a muscle, or anything that would put me in a place where I can’t care for my boys and girlie.
These times I am focused on the next step, I can’t really enjoy the scenery, I can’t enjoy the trees on either side of the path, I can’t enjoy the view down to the valley, and I can’t enjoy the other person traveling with me. For safety sake, I have to focus on just the next step.
Thankfully, between the switch back rocky turns, the path straightens out, becomes level, wide, and hard packed ground, I get to look up and enjoy all the beauty of the hike. I get to enjoy my little ones dancing and throwing rocks and sticks, I get to enjoy the little fawn not far from the path, I get to enjoy the boulders on the side of the mountain, and I get to enjoy the other hikers in front and behind us.
God has been showing me how our journey, with girlie, is like hiking.
We have times of really rough patches, rocky times where I can’t do much but take it one step at a time, focus on the next right thing, focus on the next task that has to be done, on the next goal, on the next hurdle, or on the next fight that needs preparation. That focus is required because I am part of the “the limited” (see: the limited). I have limited strength, limited mind, and limited emotions. That is the way God created me.
But, He always brings me to a level spot between the rough patches, where I can enjoy the others on the journey with me, enjoy the beautiful earth He created for us to enjoy, enjoy the amazing people we get to meet along the journey, and mostly just enjoy journeying in His presence.