October 28, 2009
Gloom to Glory!
The path ahead was clearly evident but nothing more. All else was deeply shrouded in cloud, rain, and wind. It was a singularly un-pleasant day to take a walk. Roots and rocks were slippery traps waiting to spring their surprise on unwise steps and puddles patiently pooled their resources to further dampen our spirits. We knew there must be incredible views out there, after all we were walking a knife-edge path along the ridge tops, but there was only a seamless wall of gray.
Arriving at the shelter we discovered other weary and discouraged travelers, strangers now brothers because of a shared journey. One considered pressing on to the next shelter but the presence of good company outweighed the certainty of six dreary miles. Stories were shared, meals were eaten, and a fire was attempted and abandoned. Somehow the only solution to such a day was to turn in and turn off. Surely tomorrow would be better.
And the views simply fell into our laps! A bright sunrise inspired the decision to retrace our once dreary steps in order to see just what we had missed along the way. What had only recently been burdensome was now breathtaking! Where there had been only gloom there was now nothing but glory!
As is often the case, my wilderness wanderings crack open spiritual insights. "Sorrow may last the night, but joy comes with the morning." (Ps 30:5). What may seem to be a dreadful section of trail can, in fact, become a place of wonder to be returned to again and again. The discomforts of a dreadful day are banished by memories of enduring beauty. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised!