Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Traveler's Journey

I glanced up at the sky and noticed the droplets of rain beginning to come down more frequently. I could feel the mountain air get cooler and smell the moisture on the breeze. In my right hand I gripped the handle of my wheeled luggage bag, and on my shoulders and back rested my biking pack with my laptop sticking partway out of its zipper.

I didn’t know how much further I had to hike to get to the lodge where my friend was getting married, but I knew I had to hurry to protect my computer. Thinking I might see the lodge in the distance up the hill, I stopped and took off my outer shirt. I then moved the laptop around until it fit into the backpack and tucked my shirt into a loop on top, folded over several times to protect the electronics underneath. Smiling at the unknown ahead of me, I started walking with greater energy.

As I raced the rain to the lodge several cars roared past my shoulder of the highway, and I truly became invigorated by the challenge of beating the rain. I also mentally reflected about my recent life. I’ve been forced to rely more and more on God’s strength and providence for every little thing from food to eat to the ability to get through big organizational challenges.  In learning to use His strength instead of my own, I have become a man. In fact in that instant as I hurried up the road with only a challenge, my traveler’s pack, and God, I knew deeply in my Spirit that I really was a man. Taking on adventures daily with God, not knowing the road ahead and facing challenges all along the way forces me to rely on God instead of myself; that truly lets me be strong… for it is not in my strength that I can or do defeat those challenges. It is in His. That trust, that faith that He has patiently transformed into me through my journeys is what lets me rely on true strength—the strength of God. What a blessing! It is wild and powerful and yet very deeply loving and caring—a strength that listens all along the way. It is amazing. It is humbling. It is quiet. It is strong. It is God.

I trundled up the path and made it to the lodge ahead of the rain. In fact, the rain didn’t even hit.  Even though it was far from the biggest challenge I have faced, my tiny adventure was hugely defining, and I am deeply thankful for the gift it was.