Life is Like Taking a Hike
The Bible tells us that we can hear Jesus’ voice where it is still and quiet. For me, that place is at the top of a mountain. Getting to the top of a mountain isn’t easy. And sometimes walking with Jesus isn’t easy either.
There are no shortcuts when you hike up a mountain. Often you wish you could be magically moved to the top without hiking! But the only way to get there is to put one foot in front of the other.
I remember a hike I did when I lived in Sri Lanka. I went with friends. We were excited when we looked at the trail ahead of us. In the distance we could see our goal—a hazy mountaintop seen through the rain and mist.
All of us had problems on the way. Jonathan forgot his raincoat and shivered the whole way home. Debbie’s shoes broke, so she completed the hike in socks. Margret’s knees gave her problems and she had to use a walking stick at the end. William took a wrong turn and ended up in a different place. I would suddenly disappear because I kept falling in the tall grass clumps. Near the end we were so wet and tired that Jonathan, William, and I lay down in those grass clumps, waiting for the others and stared into the falling rain.
When our group started our hike, we saw our destination, but somewhere along the way we lost sight of it. The trees, the hills, and the mist kept us from seeing the mountaintop. All we could do was focus on the trail ahead. So often we want to know what’s going to happen next. We want to know what is coming. But during a hike every single step counts. And Jesus is with us on the journey. We need to remember to notice the little butterflies flitting across our paths, or the wildflowers in the grass by the side of the trail, or the chameleon camouflaged among the leaves. Just like in our day to day lives, we can see the nice things Jesus has done for us—the blessings He gives us.
Just like the hike I did in Sri Lanka, each day we need to remember there is no way forward except to go through whatever is in front of us. We have to take the math test. We have to watch our younger brothers and sisters. We have to do chores. We have to go to the doctor or the dentist. But knowing that Jesus is with us makes all the difference. And there can be things that happen along the way. In a hike, sometimes your shoes get soaked, your clothes get splattered with mud, or a tree blocks your path, you still will make it to your goal.
Sometimes it feels as if we are getting nowhere.
Every turn of our hike is just more of the same. But Jesus left us hope. He left us a map—the Bible—to help us on our journey. It’s OK to struggle, to realize we are tired, hungry, thirsty, or that we need to rest. It’s also OK to ask for help, just like my friend Jonathan did on our hike.
What makes a mountain hike so special is that eventually you reach the top. You come through the last part when you are so tired and suddenly see these amazing views. That is when you realize the hike was totally worth it all.
Jesus goes with us on our journey. He is preparing a special place for us. When we get to the top of our mountain, He will be there with us, and we will realize it was worth it all.
—This was adapted from the article, “The Christian Hike,” by Cheryl Howson. You can read it the October 2019 issue of Adventist Review.