Monday, January 7, 2019

Valley or Hilltop View? It is different, you know!

"Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley." 
Theodore Roethke

I have done a fair amount of hiking in my lifetime, but one thing continues to amaze me when I reach some summit point - the look back down the trail by which we ascended to this new height. The 'look back' often shows just how many switchbacks, twists, and turns that path really took. It also often shows us just how much we missed that was right there in front of us, but because of the things that 'bordered' the path, we missed what was just beyond that border. The view from the top is much different than the view while we are traveling the path. At the moment we enter that 'trail head' to explore the path, do we know what the path will hold? Not likely. If we have traveled it before, we are probably a little familiar with it, but even a short period of time and the influence of the elements can change that path. Erosion occurs where rain waters flow freely down the hill. Underbrush grows, sheds leaves, becomes the nesting grounds for new creatures. All is subject to change - nothing remains the same. Yet, the path still leads to the summit - changed as it might be from one ascent to another - it is still an ascent!

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? To be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute— you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you. (Psalm 139:7-12 MSG)

God is faithful as we climb the path - this is the one 'constant' in the path. The other changes we experience are indeed eye-catching and sometimes even a little startling. Nothing changes without God taking notice and preparing for our safe travel over that pathway, my friends. Over every mountain there is a path - what is that path for you today, my friend? Is it one that will bring you the greatest of delight in the journey, or will the ascent by harder than you might have imagined? I have taken on some paths in my years that were just way too advanced for my hiking skills. I wasn't prepared with the right shoes, didn't have a walking stick to help me maintain balance, and simply was too out of shape to really have attempted them. I didn't quit though - I just persevered because the view from the top was going to be worth it all! There are times we may feel inadequate for the path we are upon, but remember this - God has prepared a place for us to stand at the top, to take it all in, and to marvel at the greatness of his hand in helping us make it to that place!

Just a short reminder to us today as we are making new transitions, finding ourselves on paths that are yet unexplored in our lives, and re-traveling some that have been traveled so many times the path is worn smooth. We aren't going to appreciate the journey with each step - it is the accumulated steps that help us to appreciate the journey - for these are what have helped us be set high, enjoying the vantage point, and seeing the journey's path in total! Just sayin!

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