I love nature! Trees, oceans, the fruit of the land, waterfalls, leaves, animals (mostly the non aggressive ones), etc. I think a reason for my affinity to nature is the fact that I grew up on an island, and near the beach. I was that kid that was always climbing trees, and stealing mangos from the neighbor’s tree, on my way to school.
As much as I love nature, as a child, I never drew any lessons or inspiring thoughts from it while growing up. As an adult though, I have learned to see beyond the forest to find that one tree, to listen to the waves as they splash against the rocks, and to appreciate the sounds of the night. I believe with all y heart, that God is speaking…always.
When we take time to reflect and spend time away from the busyness of life, we tend to hear him more clearly. That is one reason I enjoy hiking, and traveling to the countryside, or to the beach. Anything that gets me close to nature refreshes my should and clears my mind, helping me to think clearly about the issues i am confronted with in life.
This past weekend, I was fortunate to go on a hike to the Pocket Wilderness Trails in Dayton, TN. The hike was quite tenuous, and long, but it was also quite beautiful. While on the hike, I found myself asking for shortcuts because It felt as though it was the trail that “never ends.” Our trail guides kept telling us, “two more miles” as if to comfort us, but in reality, the two more miles encouragement got old, and sad after the fourth hour climbing up. I began to realize after the second hour that these two more miles was being thrown out there just to deceive us, and I was right!
I remember asking Michelle (one of our guides), if there were any shortcuts we could take to get to the waterfall, and she smiled and replied, “why yes, sure, but why would you. Part of the journey is the adventure of working hard and then getting the payoff.” Well, she told me! I opened my heart to what I perceive as a discipling moment for me. Did God just speak to me? OK, then, I’m all ears.
- Walking with Christ requires that I take care of more than just my spirit. I need to work all areas of my being: physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual.
- Although shortcuts might get you there faster, skipping the process will eventually hurt you in the long run, because it is through the journey that you get valuable lessons, and experience true growth.
- Endurance births patience. Stick with it, even if it gets tough, you may not feel like it now, but eventually you will learn to wait, and listen, and truly see what’s ahead.
- You need to trust your guide, because they know the way, and they know how to get you through it in one piece.
- There is always a reward waiting at the end. You can take that to the bank!