Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Doing the Tough Things in Life

Rocks like this proved challenging on the Long Trail. Author Photo

I found myself at a crossroad. Or rather, at a cross-trail, as I was hiking the Long Trail of Vermont this past September. I’d already come well over half the journey. The day was rainy and windy. And I was stopped by two huge ledges of rock, about eighteen inches apart. In order to continue the hike, I had to cross one then the other. Narrow bands of rock, that if I slip, I could see down a crevasse many feet below.

Wow the fear. Not a pleasant prospect. Yes, the rocks and the weather were bad, but the crippling fear was worse. What to do? Where to go? I had already been through so much. Tough stuff. Even Mt Mansfield, the highest point in Vermont. If I turned around now, the hike was doomed. And all my past effort wasted.

Then I heard it. A still, small voice. Authoritative but kind. 

"Sit down on the rock there.”

I did.

“Scoot yourself slowly across it.”

Hard to do, but I did, with a drenched backpack on my back. I scooted across the narrow ledges of rock until I made it to a place where I could haul myself up and continue on the trail. 

Author photo
That voice was there in the scariest of places. Telling me what to do. Directing my path. It was a voice, not a light per say, but it acted like a light. Shining comfort when it was darkest. Illuminating a place that I could not see, but when I obeyed, I saw very clearly.

Perhaps you are in places like this. You need direction. It’s looking really scary.

Listen to the still, small voice. He will tell you where to go and what to do. And you’ll come forth like the sun, with more courage under your belt and ears ripe to listen for any further directions along the path of life.

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