June 8, 2011

Lessons Learned While Climbing a Mountain

{Picture taken from a hike I did of Badger in 2008}

Now, before you think I am super impressive and am hiking to incredible heights, let me assure you, Badger Mountain is not an impressive mountain. Well, let me rephrase that. To the out of shape hiker like myself, it is truly impressive. To those who have climbed, say, Mt. Everest, Badger looks like an ant hill. But I digress.

As I was climbing this morning with my mom and cousin, I kept noticing a man who was in front of us that looked quite experienced with this particular mountain. His pace was steady and he was not visibly struggling. As I came nearer to him, I started watching his feet. For some odd reason, my feet were drawn to the large rocks protruding from the pathway, while this man would move his foot a few inches here and there and dodge the rocks. As I started to do likewise, I found my climb was substantially easier. I thought of all the times in my life where I seemed to be drawn to something, only to figure out that it was the harder way and was making my life more complicated than it needed to be. Isn't it interesting how our church leaders continually give us wise counsel, as well as the scriptures, and like the man ahead of me on the path, show us the easier way? Yet we sometimes ignore them (at least I know I do on occasion). Why not save myself the trouble and choose the easier way? Sometimes I look at my face in the mirror and think, "silly girl... when will you learn?" All I can say is, I'm a work in progress!

The next lesson was learned as I was ascending a particularly steep part of the trail. I had been so focused on the trail and the obstacles it was presenting, that I was forgetting to look at the magnificent view of the Tri-Cities and the Columbia River that that elevation afforded me. Do you ever do that? Get so focused on what needs to be accomplished and get so consumed with your daily tasks, you forget to look at your children or your husband or even the living room floor that is littered with toys and books and games and a sweet giggling baby? I forget to enjoy the view sometimes. And the view I have right now is a beautiful one filled with the sweetest baby girl and a most loving and devoted husband and a small and cozy basement apartment that is all we need right now. I may not own the fanciest of cars or the biggest tv or the latest iPhone, but I have things that are worth far more than that in my life. The things that will be with me forever. My family.

The last lesson I learned happened in the last 100 yards of the hike. Those last 100 yards are a bugger! Talk about steep! As I was huffing and puffing and wondering if I was going to need a helicopter to take me back down the mountain (this is after like a half hour to 40 minutes of hiking mind you... I am total weak-sauce) I thought about how life is getting more difficult these days. It's not just having to raise a family or incurring debt for school or trying to make ends meet. We're just getting to the end. Things are getting tougher (more tough?) and we have to endure to the end. Because seriously, the view from the top? Well, it's magnificent. And I know, when the day comes that I get to see my Savior, face to face, it will be a glorious day. I may be huffing and puffing, my legs may feel like they're about to collapse underneath me, my heart may be pounding, but I intend to endure to the end.

"And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God."

{Another picture from my hike from 2008. That's Rattlesnake Mountain in the distance.}


Jenna said...

Thanks for sharing this. I can totally relate about enjoying the view. It's been one of my little goals lately to do everything I can to be happy exactly where I'm at, instead of thinking, "I'll be happy/content/less stressed when we have this, or do this, or whatever." And yes, I think we're all a work in progress!

ray-ray says said...

Nicely put.