Friday, October 8, 2010

Life Lessons Gleaned from Joffre Lakes Hike

On the week-end my husband Vic and I with our friends drove 4 hours from home to do the Joffre Lakes Hike that Vic considered an easy enough hike for me to manage.
Thinking about the day later, I realized it lent itself to several life analogies.

When we arrived at the trail head, the sky was blue and the day stretched before us, full of promise. We were anticipating a rewarding day of enjoying the beauty of nature.

The trail begins just behind our friend taking a photo.
The trail is hidden in the shadows, just as the events of our lives are hidden in the shadows of the future we cannot see. Would we walk so confidently into the future if we could see what it held?
An easy five minute stroll revealed a stunning view of the first of the three Joffre lakes.

Life is good , isn't it, when we plan, we anticipate, our expectations are met and our desires fulfilled.

As we travel through life there are times we need to rest -- maybe a quick break is enough but at other times we feel so stressed, overwhelmed with worries/concerns , burdened and discouraged that we need some "rehabilitation".
God provides places of rest for us doesn't He? A 'bench' just when we need it!
A place to regain our strength.
Sign "Rehabilitation area - please stay off"
Pro 24:33 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest.

I stopped to admire the little things along the trail, just as in my life it is often the unexpected moments that give me the most pleasure.

The trail is made easier by the bridges that carry us over the difficult areas.
So also in our lives God carries us over the rough spots to bring us once again to a secure place.
Walking across a bridge that has no railing can be a challenge .... but that is what faith is all about , isn't it ? Walking where you have nothing to hold to but God.

The easy path began to be a little more difficult, and we could not see around the bend just up ahead, but we carefully placed our feet one step at a time on a solid place.

Psa 17:5 "Uphold my steps in Your paths, That my footsteps may not slip."

There were many hikers on the trail that day -- some on their way up like us but some already on their way back down.
After we had been hiking a good hour past the first lake we asked some hikers how much farther to the second lake. "Ohh" they replied, " about 20 minutes." We were surprised we were that close but it sounded good!
We hiked a good half hour and again inquired of a couple how much farther.
They replied , "Oh, about 40 minutes."
We kept going and then some time later asked a third time, "How much farther to the second lake?" The answer came back "Oh a good hour!"
Three opinions ... three contrary pieces of information. Who to believe? Who was right ? We had no way of knowing.
As we travel through life we often hear contrary advice, sincere people offering very different opinions - how do we know which one is right ?

I'm so thankful we have God's Word to give us the solid answers of which is the right way to go - and how to discern between truth and error.
Suddenly the path turned and we passed over a long area where there was no trail. We had to pick our way over and around and between large rocks and boulders that had spilled down the mountainside. The boulders were slippery and I found it hard to climb over them. I have RA and it hurts to place my feet in such a way that twists my ankles. Vic was helping me concerned that I not hurt myself.
We thought we had finished traversing the large boulders but some hikers on their way down informed us that the trail did not get better around the next bend as we expected. Since it was getting later in the day and because the boulders were slippery, making them treacherous for everyone, we decided we would turn back.
No sooner had we turned than Vic lost his footing on the boulder he was standing on and he slipped smashing his hip against the rock and then fell down to the rocks below. His right arm was thrust in between two boulders. I was sure that he was seriously hurt; he fell hard.
He slowly got up .. and everything seemed to be intact and moving.
His hips were very sore and his thumb was badly sliced in half and bleeding profusely.
He managed to limp down the mountain to the car -- then we drove the 40 minutes to the Whister Medical Center where the care was excellent. We spent about three hours there.
He was checked out, given a tetanus shot, his thumb stitched and bandaged and care instructions given .

As I was looking through our photos later I was surprised that neither Vic nor I had any photos of the rough part of the trail where he fell.
As I thought about it... I realized how fitting it was that we did not.
I thought about the fact that we do not have memory of pain.
We can bring up the feelings that accompany memories of grief or sadness or joy or fear, but we cannot relive pain once it is past - only remember that we had it.
Is it not a compassionate God that would create us in such a way that pain cannot be remembered WITH the feeling ?

We were very thankful that God kept Vic from more serious injury, that He provided the care he needed and that even though the day was not the day we had planned it was a day that filled us up with the love of friends and the assurance that no matter what befalls us we have a God that cares for us and goes ahead to provide the things we will have need of.


Lovella ♥ said...

Wondeful life lessons from Joffree lakes hike Julie. I admire your perseverence in seeing God's beauty. . you do not give up easily.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

You always have a way of finding God's truths in the everyday experiences of life. Thank-you.

Beautiful pic's! It looks like a great place to visit...except for the medical clinic.

Anneliese said...

I'm sorry your day ended that way, but the day sounds like a lot of fun and your pictures are beautiful! Wonderful life lessons along the way.

Reflections said...

Though the day did not end on such a positive note, pain is never fun... Sounds like your journey was filled with many wonderful moments.

Marg said...

My heart was walking right alongside of you as you described your adventure...our experiences were truly different,...but the lessons you gleaned hit the core of my heart.
I have to check if I have some photos of the big boulders.
If only...

Sara said...

Julie, thank you for your recent comment, which I appreciate more than you know. You were certainly in some glorious country on this trek....I would have given up when I saw the boulders however....too difficult for me! You have certainly found the positive in all that happened.

Betty said...

I always love to read your vision of God in your life. It helps me to see Him in mine too. I´m glad Vic was ok.
Love that picture of the lake. I think I would have stayed there just to enjoy the view longer. :)

Trudy said...

I so enjoy peeking into your blog - your words of inspiration are so encouraging and comforting. Blessings as you continue to use the gift of writing that God has given you.

Elsie said...

Oh my, that was not the ending I was expecting as I followed your story! I'm glad that your husband wasn't seriously hurt, and I'm thankful that God cares and provides for us in all the twists and turns we encounter on our life's journey.

Kathy said...

Another wonderful post pointing us to Jesus. Beautiful photos.....I have never been to Joffre Lakes. Looks like we have a hick to add to our list.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Love your lessons! Also love that you love mushroom pictures like I do. Seems like this fall has had quite a few "falls"; Bernie fell bady a couple of weeks ago, then I fell from a ladder this weekend trying to reach an apple on a tree.
The autumn colors can also be now found on my legs and arms...the bruises are quite stunning! Thank you Lord that none of us who tumbled suffered broken bones though.