The Hike of Your Life
When our daughter was young, we enjoyed backpacking in the mountains of Southern California. On one of our first hikes, we struggled going up a steep trail. My wife walked with April, side by side, so they could hold hands to keep safe. But April’s attention seemed to always be on the drop-offs of the trail instead of on the trail ahead. It was taking forever, and they were often way too close to the edge; it made us all nervous.
When we walk with God, we may think it’s a side-by-side experience. We might believe that walking with Him is a cooperative endeavor, with each of us giving input about the direction and the pace. We can start to act like we’re in an equal partnership.
But somewhere along the journey, this walking style begins to break down. It starts feeling like we’re out of sync, and that we’re not making the progress we would like. We lose confidence, and begin to pay too much attention to the temptations and struggles we face along the edge. We may even drop out of the walk altogether due to the frustration of it all. Something is off, unstable.
After a couple of hours hiking up the mountain with our daughter, we determined our method was all wrong. Instead of side by side, April and her mom started walking single file, with Mom in the lead. We discovered right away that this way of hiking was much safer, more stable, and allowed us to make much better time up the switchbacks on the mountain. The focus for our daughter became following her mother and the trail ahead, and she experienced much more confidence.
Walking with God can be an uphill struggle, with steep inclines and breathtaking vistas. That hike was never meant to be tackled as a partnership. It is better to have God in the lead and to follow Him as our Lord than to consider Him a helping hand. It is much more productive to surrender to His leadership than to believe we somehow have as much to offer as He does.
Written by Ron Benson
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