Through the wilderness
“I don’t know how I’m going to get there, but I know where I’m going”.
Those visionary words, came out of my own mouth, quite prematurely. That statement is a reflection of faith and trust, one of bravery, confidence and fearlessness all of which are qualities I have seen dwindle in my life over the past 2 years. This is a stake in the ground moment that says: “this changes and it changes now.”
When I’m surrounded by nature, I awaken; pictures of life and faith unfold before my eyes. Have you ever been deep in the woods? I’m talking about the place where there is no clear path and bushwhacking is the only way through. I feel like an explorer and in these places I experience God profoundly.
Last weekend, I learned something new: one symptom of an unhealthy forest is when the undergrowth is composed has too much of one species. On our hike, we were surrounded by ferns (and other plants) coming up to our waist as we attempted to wade through the wilderness. Why is this a problem? It’s about the next generation: young trees and seedlings can’t get light due to the wide fronds. These low-laying plants stunt the growth of the future canopy and the eco-systems are out of alignment. (thanks for the tip Janine!)
This atmosphere also makes hiking quite a bit more adventurous, rather than following a distinct trail, you just need to move forward.
Unhealthy places make life difficult to navigate: you can’t see where you’ve been nor can you discern where you are going.
I spent a good portion of the hike in the lead, and at one point I turned to my friend and said, “I think you need to experience this feeling, step ahead of me and walk in front.” I was inviting her to experience the walk of faith and trust that between our map, a few scattered blazes and the concealed trail we would arrive at our destination. In a dense forest you need to focus on every step, or you might miss where you’re going. Take step in the towards the next mile marker and repeat. [Okay, there is the option to wander aimlessly and hope for the best too!].
We didn’t read the map right so our 4 mile hike was actually 9 (thanks apple for the stats!). At one point, we lost the trail due to fording a swamp, climbing over fallen trees & scrambling around boulders. Our friends were concerned when we were away much longer than expected. In the end, we arrived back at our campsite, no need for search and rescue.
The truth is, I don’t know where I’m going right now. In all honesty, trusting that is okay is one of the most difficult things I can do. What about you? Are you faced with something confusing, yet exciting?