13 2Moses sent out men to explore the land of Canaan... 25after exploring the land for forty days, the men returned. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. 27This was their report: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. 28But...the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified!
30 Caleb tried to quiet the murmur amongst the people saying, “We must go...because we are more than able to do it!" 31But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go..." 32So they began spreading this bad report: The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. 33We even saw giants there.”
14 1Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. 2Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest...
Numbers 13 and 14
I had been disappointed with myself ever since the last hike my hubby and I had taken while on vacation in Colorado. I quit before we reached the summit of Mount Royal. Oh sure, we had reached our planned destination one mile up to the 1900’s Masontown Miners Camp. But, we could’ve continued on to the top, as grueling as that next mile-long vertical climb would have been.
But, I had good excuses. I really did. It was a hot 90° day, and we had swooned under the direct path of the blazing sun the first leg of our trek. Then as we climbed up, up, up the muscles in my legs felt as if they were on fire. And when you consider that we started out at an elevation of 9,122 feet, it was no wonder that I was panting and puffing to draw breath.
However, as legitimate as those aches and pains were, it was fear that really got the best of me. The hikers' tales, as they stopped to chat on the way back down the mountain, of sheer cliffs and ladder-like ascents were what stopped me in my tracks.
My vivid imagination ran wild...a real detriment when hiking in the mountains! I envisioned us clinging to sheer-faced cliffs with rocks crumbling underfoot, with either Rey or myself plummeting off the side of Mount Royal.
And that’s all it took. Lost on the wind were their words of affirmation that it was worth the struggle to stand on the peak or to take in the breaktaking 360° views. I had my mind made up...I wasn’t going, and I didn’t want Rey to go either.
Later that night I was bummed. I had allowed the voices of fear entrance into my thoughts and their protests had won the day!
That’s when I determined that if another opportunity came along, I wasn’t going to cave. I was going to see those peaks and 360° views despite the challenges.
Another opportunity did come along; Beehive Basin in Montana–ranked as one of the world’s greatest hikes. The path is more than double in length of Mt. Royal’s trail, a 4.5 miles round trip. And there are giants that live in this land at sky-edge--grizzlies and moose to name just a few.
I can’t tell you how many times along the trail I was convinced I couldn’t take another step. I had to sing to drown out the voices of fear. And countless rest stops had to be made, which I cunningly disguised as photo ops! (Do you think anyone bought it?) But, two-and-a-half hours later, after winding our way up and through flower-filled meadows, mountain streams, large rock formations, and a burn-scarred forest, I found myself staring in awe at the basin’s bowl-carved mountain peaks. And the views were spectacular...well worth the shin splints, sunburn and air-depleted lungs!
Take a tip from me, my friend. The way may be difficult. In fact, it may be downright terrifying at times. You may be convinced that turning back is the only option you have...that you don’t have it in you to take another step forward. Don’t let fear whisper to your heart. Plug your ears to its protests. Stop and breathe. Sit for a spell. Sing if you need to. Because, one day you will find that God has led you off the painful path and into wide-open spaces, flower-strewn meadows and vistas for as far as the eye can see. It might be around the next bend!
“You never know what's around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you've climbed a mountain.”
“Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!" So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”
J.R.R. Tolkien - The Hobbit
You're off to great places
Today is your day
You're mountain is waiting
So get on your way!