A couple of weeks back my husband and I set off on an afternoon hike looking for a waterfall. The hike started out on an old abandoned rd that once was a train passage then gave way to cars but now closed to motor vehicles as 3 of the tunnels through the mountain side are unsafe and parts of them caved in. The hike to the waterfall trail head was about 2 miles. It was a nice hike, several hikers and a few bicyclist were on the road. It was smooth, pretty views, wide, easy to hike. When we reached the trail head just on the other side of tunnel 3 (one of the first caved in tunnels) the sign read St. Mary's Waterfall 1.5 miles. We started up the trail and for a while it was a nice easy incline, not to steep, easy to navigate, could almost walk side by side, as we got closer to the waterfall the trail became more steep more difficult to navigate and the weather changed on us. Clouds moved in, and the breeze picked up. We hiked till it began to sprinkle. We chose to keep going for a while, but then realized the clouds didn't look so friendly so we turned around and headed back for shelter by this time it was raining on us and halfway down the path it hailed on us. Although the storm passed so did the time and we headed back to the main road and our vehicle.
You are probably wandering okay what is the moral of the story here and why are you telling this? Right? Well there is a moral to the story a lesson to be learned by all, one God shared with me. Before I begin I want to say one thing.....I did NOT want to turn back, I wanted to continue on till we reached the waterfall but I also knew I had to make a tough choice as to go on and face any challenges (such as the weather getting worse and getting stuck on the side of the mountain) or turn around and go back and so we reluctantly chose to turn around and go back. It was with a saddened heart we made it back to our vehicle...1. because the weather blew over and 2 I didn't make it to my destination......again a story and lesson behind our decision.
As I was walking up the trail, it became much harder to maneuver. Meaning it was a steeper incline, the altitude was changing, more rocks to step on,over and around. Also the clouds were blowing in and getting darker. However the scenery was beautiful. The path followed a nice running creek and you could tell it had been deeper. As I climbed the trail We stopped often and looked at this most smallest things, it was the little things that caught the eye and the beauty. Even though we had to really watch the trail as we hiked we were able to see the beauty around us and God began to speak to me concerning this. He said, "My people start on their journey on the road, like Gold Camp Road, wide full of people with beautiful views and the path is easy to walk. Then comes a time in their life when I want them to go a different direction and take the path that not everyone takes. Some refuse to take the steeper narrower path and chose to keep going along the wide easy path, then there are those that take the narrow, steep winding path but complain about the difficulty of the path or how long it will take them to arrive and they never see the beauty along the way, they never see what I want to show them on this path. Then there are the handful like you that sees the beauty and enjoys what I have made....the lessons I want them to learn. Those are the ones who make it to the top....although there are times when I put objects in front of them and they have to chose whether to continue on the path or turn around and go back. You my child have chosen to continue on the path no matter the cost. There are some who decide my path is too hard and will turn and go back and continue on the easy path and never again try a more difficult route and will not regret turning back. You my child have passed the test. You continued on regardless." As fought with myself over turning back, I was so upset with myself for choosing to turn back I cried out to God to forgive me for not finishing the path and reaching the ultimate destination but made a vow I would return in a few days and start out early and I would make it to my destination, so as we started back down the path, me being upset with myself, heard God begin to speak to me again. This is what he told me about my decision to turn back. "My child it is okay to turn back, you have cried out to me and told me, God I am afraid to continue on I have a family to tend to at home and I don't want to worry them and get stuck up here on the side of a mountain past dark. I heard your cries and I put the storm in your path for two reasons, one is to tell you not everyone will continue on in through the storm, they will turn around and run the other direction and two is to show you it is okay to make choices but to pray about those choices and to cry out to me and ask me for answers. You my child cried out to me and told me your fears and I know your heart and I saw the desire and determination and that is what I wanted most from you on this day. So you didn't make it to your destination today, it was not meant for you to make it to your destination today. I wanted to you to see you have the desire and the determination to go all the way to meet me. Only the chosen have that desire and determination. Remember many are called but few are chosen."
After hearing these words from God and braving hugging a huge Christmas tree waiting for the hail to stop so we could continue on back down the path I felt better and on my way down I noticed things I didn't notice on the way up, and the beauty of the path. God spoke to me one more thing as I reached the bottom of the trail and was turning back onto that main old dirt road....and that was "those who turn around and go back, RUN!!!!, they never stop and enjoy the beauty on the way down either, they are more focused on getting back to their comfort zone, their place of safety, but the chosen will always see the lesson that I am teaching them and they will pass the test. My child you have passed your test for the day."
I told my husband I enjoyed the hike very much. By the time we got home, my back and hip hurt and it was very difficult to walk but I didn't care, I had heard from my God and seen his marvelous works and I would and will tackle that path again and next time (God Willing)I will make it to my destination the beautiful St. Mary's Waterfall.