Since the weather was nice, which means, it was under 90 degrees, I decided to take a hike. Most of the trails were closed or mostly closed because the New Mexico Forest Service closed them because of fire concerns. There were a couple of open trails, one of which was the “On a Lark Trail”.
The Lark Trail isn’t too long. The description said:
Short and sweet with spectacular views, the trail begins at the top-most end of the upper mesa. Begin on any mesa access route or follow a narror ridge for 1/4 miles then switch back up the broader mesa folliwng hte cairns (rock piles) to a large bolder at the rige’s high point (3/4 miles at 6,800 feet). Same route return.
It was the last line, “same route return” that let me know, at some point, I would have to turn around and make my way back.
Even with the temperature less than 90 degrees, it was still hot. Shade was just about non-existent. I made my way up and around a narrow pathway. Every time I thought I had reached the end, I saw the trail continuing on.
I finally reached the big rock, or at least I thought I had. The rock was big, and it looked like others had placed stones on top of each other as if it was the end of their journey. However, on the other side of the rock, the trail continued on and so did I. At least, I continued on for a while.
After I went down and around a hill and started my way back up another one, I looked and saw the trail continued climbing up with a much narrower trail.
Since I had consumed a little bit more than half my water, and it was getting hotter, I looked at the journey ahead, simply said, “Nope. I’m done,” and headed back.
On the way back, I met a couple from Maryland. They were at the big rock, thinking they had reached the end just like I had. During our conversation, they learned I was on a sabbatical and lived in Bloomington, Indiana. Come to find out, they were big Purdue fans. It’s amazing where you find Purdue fans.
As I thought about my trek, it dawned on me that there are times when the journey gets too much for us. Stopping seems like the best option. We travel so far and the way can be hard. We think we’ve made it to the end, but then we realize there’s more in front of us that looks even more difficult.
One reason I stopped was because I was traveling alone. I knew that if I had someone else on the trail with me, I would have persevered, knowing that if anything happened, there would be someone there to help.
There were times when the trail was very narrow with a steep drop-off. I had not brought enough water for the day or the journey. At one point, I took a picture of my Fitbit (it’s a bit blurry), because my heart rate was at 150. At the time of this picture, it was at 144 bps. I had just climbed up several feet, and I could feel my heart racing. This was a while before I made it to the big rock.
When we have others journeying with us, we can rely on them to help us through the difficult parts of our pathways. When we have a community of faith, others can help us persevere, knowing they are walking with us.
Even better news for us is that Jesus walks with us. He told us that he would never leave or forsake us. “Best of all, God is with us!”