Embrace the Beauty as Well as the Challenges
This summer my family took a short hike up to a place called Treasure Falls. Not too far from Pagosa Springs, CO, Treasure Falls is a large and very majestic waterfall hidden away on the side of a mountain, nestled into a thick forest of pines and other lovely trees—every color of green you can think of, some even draped in delicate moss. The trail to the falls is steep but an achievable trek on the carved-out path.
When we arrived at the base of the trail, the sky had begun to fill up with rolling lavender-gray clouds, and the vague sound of thunder rumbled in the distance. There was misty little sprinkle falling from the sky but not enough to halt our excursion. Shortly after embarking on the trail, it began to rain pretty heavily and steadily. As we momentarily convened and contemplated a return to the vehicles, the surge of adventure overtook us all and we continued on.
A little further along, lightning suddenly filled the sky and the loudest crack of thunder I have ever heard pierced the atmosphere. Admittedly, a little hesitation kicked in, but the beauty of the trees and the roar of the waterfall up ahead kept us climbing.
The rain now coming down hard caused small rivers of water to cascade down the trail and large pools of water to overtake the path in parts. Somewhat soaked, with legs splattered in mud bits, we made it all the way up to the breath-taking and enchanting waterfall. Rushing and splashing against the deep gray and brown rocks of the mountainside, it echoed with a mighty roar.
The destination had been worth the little challenges…someone forgot tennis shoes, only two umbrellas for the whole group, and our hair, clothes, and shoes soggy by the end. There were moments of concern when the thunder and lightning repeatedly consumed the sky, slippery parts to the trail where footing was unstable…but it was worth it. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I would do it a hundred times over just to have that adventure again!
There were a few things I took away from that experience, but probably one of the most important was the time in God’s Presence there. Truly His Presence was strong in that place. It was almost as if I could still see—in that raw and untouched beauty—the imprints of God’s hands and fingertips in the creation, and it birthed such a sense of awe and worship inside of me. The Psalmists understood this kind of experience and recorded their own:
“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens…when I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers…what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” from Psalm 8:1-4
“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him…his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God…” from Psalm 95:1-7
Today, as you are on whatever adventure God has you on, remember to embrace the beauty as well as the challenges of the journey. Don’t let the little things sidetrack you, but instead let them fuel you and fill you full of perseverance as you press forward on the path. And when you reach the destination, the summit of the journey, don’t forget to take in the beauty, worshipping and giving thanks.
FBC Aztec Member