It was farther than I meant to go and longer than I meant to stay…
Have you ever found yourself going around in circles? I am not talking about the twirls you do in the middle of the grocery isle while no one else is looking 😉 . I am referring to frustrations you feel when you’re deliberately seeking the end of a task or journey and it seems like no end is in sight. It seems like you constantly end up back to where back where you started. Can I get an Amen if you have been there?…AMEN! I hope I am in good company cause I have been there and done that and here is ONE of my stories:
It was about 6 weeks ago….
Feeling adventurous one Saturday morning, I decided to join my husband and one of our fur-babies, Bella, on a hike through Sweet-Water Creek Park. I was so confident that this was going to go well that I even invited my friend, Tei. I hyped myself up for this journey determined to make this trek with very little complaint. We engaged in chit-chat on our way there and kept vibe light for the journey ahead– We hoped to conserve our energies.
Finally at our destination, we all piled out of the car and made our way to the starting point. Wesley informed us that we were going take the yellow trail that morning – a 3 mile loop with moderate to difficult terrain. He and Bella led the way with Tei and I following closely behind. We talked while Wesley walked. While she and I caught up on the past few days, Wesley caught up on much distance — clearly ahead of us now.
Before we knew it, the infamous hill appeared. An expanse of rock on a very steep gradient whose goal was to wear me out but I would not cave. I slowly began to inch my way up with Tei encouraging me along the way. We could hear Wesley say, “When you get to the top, veer to the right.” We shouted “Ok.” in response. Slow and steady was my goal and finally we reached the top. A short celebratory laugh escaped for good measure. We saw the light and was heading towards it. Such a picturesque view that we stopped to take a picture.
At the top of the hill, we assumed there would be a clear path down…NOPE!!! We were literally standing at a fork in the road. Three options– three different ways to go. Based on our best estimation we chose right, cause obviously that is what we heard Wesley say. So right it was… NOT! Sooner than we realized, we were at a dead-end… It was farther than we meant to go and longer than we meant to stay.
Calling Wesley’s cellphone in a panic, we asked what way he took….He instructed us to go left–so left we went. Down a path and through the woods, round and round we went gliding down hills. Desperate to find our way to freedom, we took a path sure that it was where we needed to be. Needless to say, we found ourselves as prey on private hunting property way off course.
WE WERE OFFICIALLY LOST.
- — We panicked
- — I downloaded the State Park App trying desperately to get a signal
- –Tei called Wesley seeking further direction
- –We tried to locate ourselves on a GPS Map
- — We attempted to back-track
An hour of going in circles when we finally found Wesley clearly concerned for our safety. Both exasperation and relief filled us as we sought to stay close behind him (little talking & more walking) on our way back to the beginning.
With much assurance Wesley turned to us and exclaimed, “I know where you went off course!” How did he know? Did he see us? He was nowhere near us. Yet my Eagle Scout, knew. He said we made the grave error of following the light. The sun’s rays that beckoned us to come were deceiving. It steered us off course. We missed the yellow marks to our left that CLEARLY marked the correct trail.
Over 15,000 extra steps led me to these realizations:
- Chart your course even when blazing trails
- Stay the course
- Pay attention to your surroundings
- Seek markers of progress
- Do not become distracted by the glitz and glamour of a quick and glorious finish
- Listen to wise counsel and trust them. Those who have walked the trail before you
- Keep both the beginning and the end in mind — You never know when you have to backtrack to re-learn a lesson
- Be patient
- Do not panic. Panicking may cause you to make some potentially stupid or dangerous decisions
- Be prepared for anything
- You will always have to come down from every mountain climbed — Celebrate and then keep going
BONUS: The trails are there for our benefit. Character is formed. Determination tested and tenacity built. You are stronger than when you first started…