However, as the months continued and I grew bigger, the vine one day decided it no longer wished to support the weight of a 90 pound girl. I clearly remember the fall. It happened in slow motion. One minute I was watching the sky peek out from patches of tree branches. The next, I was balancing precariously on the edge of the creek bed.While the vine had dropped, it was still attached to the tree and now served as my rope to safety. Funny as I reflect. Even then, God was there to catch me when I fell. Even more interesting was how I welcomed the physical obstacles in the trail back then. My attitude was always to push ahead with full abandon and joy, choosing to think of my problems as opportunities. I'm 31 now, and I must admit I no longer make games out of how fast I can cross a fallen tree trunk without losing my balance. My steps are a bit more cautious and weary. Certainly, age, health, and experience play a factor. Even so, I can't help but notice a connection. How many times do we as adults grow frustrated and angry when things don't go our way? Leaving the house to run errands only to realize once we've arrived at our destination that we forgot the grocery list, or letter to be mailed is an example of the daily trials we face. Perhaps the condescending comments made by a certain person in your life are making it hard to remain positive. While these are small trials compared to some, it is safe to say the obstacles we face in this life are endless. I will be the first to admit that I often wish all the trails of my personal journey could be flat and smooth. However, as I reflect back on that carefree young girl with a heart for adventure, I realize I can learn something from her.
One thing I love to do when I hike now is listen for the sound of the wind in the trees. Something about the silence of the woods and the sudden rustling of leaves causes me to look up and marvel at the sight of huge sturdy trees bending forward under the weight of the wind. Who is this mighty God that even the trees bow down to worship him? Ecclesiastes 11:5 answers me simply. "As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the maker of all things." Though I can't understand or explain everything that happens in life, I can comprehend the peace I feel as I watch God's breath blow through the trees...as I feel His presence whisping through my fingers, my hair, and my life. This wind is the same wind I felt rushing past me as I soared high above a creek so many years ago. As I breathe in, I realize that I love this facet of creation even more than I did then. Experiencing the peace of God in the midst of an obstacle or series of obstacles in your path is truly exhilarating. I don't ever want to forget the peace of God--the trust that comes from knowing He is is control of everything that I do not understand. What freedom that is! I love that a gentle soft breeze has the power to refresh me even when I'm tired and weak from hiking. Likewise, when I feel I can't possibly climb another hill in the seemingly never-ending twisting and turning trails of life, I will choose to trust in Him.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."