Have you ever enjoyed an early morning hike when the sun is cresting the horizon, the air is crisp and fresh from yesterday’s rain? I often wake up early just so I can appreciate this rare gifts God grants the early risers.
I like to hike the desert mountain near my home and of course that means that even though I finish in the same place I started, I feel as if I am going up hill more than downhill. I attribute these feelings to my aging knees and ankles. On the surface, uphill sounds more strenuous and taxing than downhill. Is this because downhill sounds so easy? Over the years, life has thrown me curve balls and I admit I misinterpret downhill as a possible smooth sailing. Perhaps I am like so many of the hikers I see roaming the desert enjoying the ups and downs and assume my hike will be easier after I crest a hill and can enjoy that long awaited “downhill”. For me, this is where I find I need to watch my step. If I trip, twist an ankle or stumble…… I will end up doing a “face plant”. If you have ever endured one of these mishaps, you know they hurt and for me, the downhill falls are more dramatic. This is where I have learned to appreciate when God helps soften my landings.
Sometimes I look at life that way, you know, up hills are worth it because the downhill will be so easy. I have learned the hard way that isn’t always the way it is going to go. God was so good to me and gave me some hill training to help me understand. Those hills made me stronger and along the way I learned that what appears as a nice downhill can also be a painful face plant. I choose to not question God’s direction “ why is there another hill to climb”, instead I am learning to thank God for those ups and downs, because that is when we need His strength most and that is what makes me strong. And I appreciate that.