Since school is out, I have had the opportunity to go to clinic in Chiminisijuan. This clinic is nestled high in the mountains offering amazing views…. And I love to go there because the people truly have a need….. Today’s trip was not as enjoyable as some others that I have had….
This last time there provided more of a challenge though as it had rained there and I don’t think the clouds had lifted for a few days. It was damp. It was cold. The road was slippery, so we had to park halfway and walk. I usually embrace this opportunity. It would have been better if I had thought ahead… I was without proper shoes to walk or a rain jacket. Some might have labeled me a rookie.
As I made my way down the road, I had to be careful of every step. It’s sort of like when I run, and I have to watch for the roots, cowpies, rocks, holes or anything else that might trip me up. On the road I was in search of the red dirt and the sand as these spots were more solid. If my foot found the lighter dirt, there was a good chance it would just slip – and potentially could face plant in the mud. On my very first trip here ten years ago, I feel a good ten feet down one hill and was sure I could repeat this adventure again. As I found solid footing, I trusted the rocks most and wished that the entire road was lined with rocks.
The walk gave me time to think and reflect on the conversations I had this week last with others– and drew a parallel with the trek to the clinic and our trek in life. School and classes are officially over and I am preparing for a break from teaching. I have seen some of last year’s students and listened to their current thoughts…. how they parallel so many other adolescents in the world today….
We all know that we try to avoid the trials in life. We try to avoid slipping or falling. We want to keep our feet on solid ground. We look for the rocks, we look towards friends, we look towards stability. We don’t want to end up cold or wet or miserable. And yet one wrong step might find us on unstable ground, headed in a direction that we don’t intend. How quickly it can happen – and we didn’t even see it coming. That’s why it’s always better to look where you’re going. To find the path that has the best chance at providing stability. Yet, sometimes we do slip. Sometimes we do find ourselves in mud that we do not want. Sometimes we have to backtrack a little bit. This happened to be along the road. I would be on one side, thinking it had the best footing for avoiding the mud, and my foot would just sink. I could continue on, or withdraw it and start again. In life we get stuck too. In life we slip into the valley. Sometimes knowingly and sometime unknowingly. It just happens. But if we stay there too long; if we keep going in the wrong direction without heeding the warning…. The option of turning back might not be available any longer. And so I tried to keep my eyes fixed forward, on the footsteps of others to see where the path was solid and where I wanted to take a turn.
And so my encouragement to you is this… to keep your eyes focused ahead, looking for the ROCK –which is Christ. The one who lays out our steps for us. The One whose desire is to get us to our destination on solid ground. And when you slip, because we all do, pick up your foot and put it back on solid ground. Retreat if you need to back to the solid ground.
Before I left clinic my day was more than brightened. This little girl was one of our last. She came up behind me without me seeing her and wrapped her arms around my legs. When I turned around, I was greeted with the biggest smile and laughter. God not only provides rocks to help us along our path. But he provides smiles as well to warm us.
“ For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a Rock, except our God? This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless. He made my feel like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights.” II Samuel 22:32-34