It’s the hills that bring on the ‘stinkin thinkin.’ It’s the difficult, seemingly impossible parts of the trail that beg me to give in, give up, and collapse in utter defeat. The hubby decided we’d take a new route this morning and I am all about change, because I rapidly grow tired of my ordinary, dull surroundings. In the first 12 years of our marriage, we moved 12 times. The act of rounding up boxes (you’d think I would have learned to keep them around), packing, relocating, and unpacking was dreadful EACH AND EVERY TIME, but I always anticipated the change.
I’m not the type that has an hourly or even daily schedule. I don’t require order, I usually clean when I think someone might be stopping by, I wait until 6:00 or 7:00 (pm) to decide what’s for dinner (um, pizza?), and I leave clothes in the drying far too long. Ok, I do insist the towels are folded just so, but that’s about the extent of my OCD, on most days anyway. I’m not one to make a schedule, follow a schedule, or even desire a schedule. This may be the result of walking side by side with women who live by the schedule, trying to follow their wonderful example, failing time and again, only to drown in self condemnation. Nope, I thrive on living for the moment and I welcome change because so many of my unplanned moments are just plain dull. And now I have digressed….
As we jogged away from the house and began a new course, I was slightly anxious about the unknown, yet excited about the change of pace. After only a few minutes, we began the difficult, slow trek up a dreaded hill. I try to avoid hills at all costs, yet here I was. Thanks, hunny. Already the ‘stinkin thinking’ began its course; “I’m out of shape, I can’t do this hill.” “How far is he going to run?! I’ll never make it back home at this rate.” However, I countered with (insert something witty to counter stinkin thinkin) “This isn’t the worst hill ever.”“All I have to do is make it to the top.” And I could see the top! It wasn’t that far way and I rationalized that it must be downhill or at least level ground from there. And I was right. Well almost right. We did get an effortless, downhill breather, but it was short lived, as I glimpsed an even steeper, longer, more exaggerated hill just a few brief moments away. I was doomed. We had already gone two excruciating miles ascending the Myrtle Creek terrain, and I couldn’t fathom pushing myself even harder.
This was the moment of do or die. I envisioned myself sprawled out in defeat, flat on my back, attempting to suck in air, in the midst of a narrow, yet well traveled side road, being squashed by an oncoming car. I was forced to either let myself collapse, or push it even harder. So I pushed, and pushed, and pushed, and pushed. Finally, we rounded the top of the hill, overcoming defeat, only to encounter yet another larger, steeper, impossible incline. In the end we pushed it all the way. We didn’t stop. We didn’t slow. We didn’t give in, or give up. Not until we made it back home. Ahhhhh, home! And the feeling of accomplishment and success.
Lately, I have been running, walking, no mostly crawling up hill after hill after hill. It seems that each hill I conquer offers only another steeper, harder, more impossible hill. And right now, forget the hills, I’m climbing a mountain and my fingers are slipping and I feel I’m about to fall headlong into the vast chasm of defeat. It seems hopeless, yet I continue pushing, clawing, grasping for anything that will help me reach the top of this impossible mount. Most days, the summit is beyond my scope of sight and my faith begins to diminish. Some days I glimpse the coming peak, gaining confidence, and an ability not of myself. And once in a while I actually climb over that impossible mountain only to come face to face to an even larger, more unbearable mount, covered in thorns that scrape, bruise, and scar.
Even so, I thank God for each and every step. I thank Him that I can’t see the larger hills ahead which might only prevent me from climbing the one I’m currently ascending. I thank Him that He puts me in a place where I must rely on Him and His strength or be crushed in my own defeat. I thank Him that the summit ahead offers relief, even if for only a minute second. I thank Him that no matter how steep and rugged the mountain may be, I will overcome it because He already has. His strength is manifested in my weakness, and I am so weak! I want to give up. I want to turn around and walk off that hill. I want to! However, I must round peak after peak after peak after peak. I must push, grasp, and not give up. And right now I MUST NOT focus on the upcoming mountains. I know this one is preparing me for what I am not capable of accepting or climbing. His ways are perfect, His plans are flawless, and His sight is 20/20.
Lord, let my ways be Your ways. Let my plans be Your plans. Let my sight not hinder my faith. Strengthen me Lord, and help me to not give in or give up. Help me to trust You with my life, my children’s lives, my marriage, and our future. I thank You that I cannot see what is ahead and I beg you to get me through this season, victoriously.
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