Waterfalls Revisited

 

Last week I wrote about my hike to the Lost Waterfalls in Boquete. One thing that kept me going on that hike were the thousands of footprints; evidence that many had successfully completed the trek before me (reference Hebrews 12:1-3).  

Another thing that kept me going was … not knowing upfront how strenuous the trip would be. The path was full of drastic, arduous ups and downs, punctuated with level paths easily traversed. You couldn’t see every obstacle at the same time. Bends in the path and the lush undergrowth combined to keep you blissfully ignorant. You were forced to evaluate and take on each hurdle as it came.

To give you an idea just how challenging this hike was, let me share the statistics from my wife’s fitness tracking watch. Our adventure   

– Took about 4 hours, 2.8 hours of which were considered “aerobic activity”

– Included 11,560 steps, 1,366 of which were counted as “extreme”

– Was equivalent to climbing 86 floors (only counting steps up … not down)

Let’s look at this differently. You ask a tour guide what there is to see in New York City. He eloquently holds forth about the stunning vistas from the lower observation deck of the Empire State Building. Before you can leave for West 34th Street, he grabs you and asks, “You want to know the best way to experience the view?” “Well, of course,” you answer. “Don’t take the elevator, he blurts out enthusiastically, “Walk the 86 floors!” “And,” he adds, “be sure to sign up for the Thursday tour when they pour mud down the steps to make it more fun!” How many sane people would sign up for that? Yet, according to Sue’s watch, that’s what we did. Not knowing up front the strenuousness of the journey allowed us to finish … because it allowed us to start. Not knowing what was around every turn allowed us to move on. Taking obstacles one by one kept us from being overwhelmed.

Think about following Christ. The fictitious future you worry about immobilizes you enough. Can you imagine what would happen if you could witness every future obstacle and pain in one moment? You would never finish … because you would not begin. Our God is beneficent and wise in not revealing our future but rather calling us to trust in Him. We should obey our Savior’s kind command, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 I can almost hear my Father saying, “Take one hill at a time my child … I know where your path ends.” These truths are well expressed in one of my favorite hymns,

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.