Life sometimes offers us amazing opportunities. Once in a lifetime chances, and we have the decision to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Often without hesitation we scream back at life ‘YES’ fully encouraged and ready to take on the journey before us. The prize we see is beautiful, and we can hardly wait to get there.
This past weekend our neighbors invited us on a hike and fishing day trip. Which we did not hesitate to commit to the trip, as fishing is one of our all time favorite activities.
We drove the hour and a half to the mountain all packed and ready to hike up to this mystery lake somewhere at the top and jumped out of the car, ever ready. The wind, however, was blowing so heavy it actually hurt to open your eyes. Causing me to immediately question if I would enjoy this trip much at all.
The trees blocked the wind and the hike was needless to say, breath taking. But our quick steps gradually began to slow, and the backpacks and babies became heavier. We saw the sun gleaming at the top of the mountain but there was no end in sight. We had to stop and take a few breaks, and shed a layer or two of clothing. My excitement for the trip was dwindling. It was hard.
Determined to make it to the top, we pressed onward up the mountain. Step after step, corner after corner, and water in hand.
When out of nowhere, there it was! Almost magical.
Life filled my heart, and once again the backpack was light. No longer thinking about our aching legs as we energetically picked out our fishing spot.
The day was beautiful, and the fish were almost jumping at our lines. It was amazing, and SO worth it. The sun kissed our skin and the beauty before us was refreshing. All the voices of others passing by consisted of lovely stories and there wasn’t joy lacking whatsoever. This was our secret paradise.
But with other opportunities calling us, we packed up and began the hike down the mountain. Only a couple steps over the hill, and tired and weary faces were begging us to tell them how much further. Oh if they only knew what was right ahead of them!
Group after group we passed, each time their weary faces and heavy breath looked to us for encouragement. A few groups even contemplated turning around and heading back to the cars. If they only knew! Almost laughing as I realized I was them only a few hours earlier.
With each exhausted face, we gladly gave them the encouragement to keep going. “You are almost there! It is absolutely beautiful!”
Isn’t this story a fascinating illustration of life?
We are so ready to start a journey, but when the mountain inclines and our legs start to tighten, we begin to question if it’s worth it. We no longer anticipate the marvelous lake awaiting us, and can only see the dirt at our feet.
As we look to others who have already been where we’re going, we gain a little hope from each encouraging word. Just enough to climb the mountain.
Then we stand astonished at the top of the climb. We reached the prize, and it is divine.
As we head down the mountain, we encourage others as they have not yet seen what we have. How excited we are for them! “If they only knew.”
What mountain are you climbing? Have you turned to others who have reached the top yet? Are you encouraging others who have not yet reached the peaks you have?