I survived the climb to the most-photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail!
McAfee Knob, overlooking the Catawba Valley in Virginia, is reached by hiking upwards 1,700 feet over a distance of about 4.4 miles. Hiking.com states, “You will get a good workout.” That’s putting it mildly, to say the least!! Our family hiked up with backpacks to stay the night in a shelter near the trail. I freely admit that I do not have the physical body that I deserve–my build is based purely on genetics, and has nothing to do with what I eat or how much I move. I may look like I’m in shape, but this climb proved that I’m nowhere near being physically fit! With every step up that mountain, I was chanting over and over, “They don’t die on ‘Biggest Loser,’ this won’t kill me, either.” Of course I was chanting in my mind, as I had no breath for speaking aloud.
When we finally reached the Knob, I was almost too exhausted to enjoy the view of the valley below. Here’s another small piece of that view. It’s stunning, but my fatigue was even more so! If I had trained for this, I’m sure it would be a different story. We hiked on another half mile to the shelter to set up camp. We could have returned for a beautiful sunset vista, but just couldn’t bring ourselves to push on any further. The next morning, after sleeping with half an ear open listening for bears, we returned for another peek before our descent. I can’t say that we were well-rested, but I was much more able to enjoy the scene in the morning.
I wonder how many of us miss the summits and spectacular views God has for us in this life because we suffer from spiritual weakness due to a lack of training and discipline.
Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. ~1 Timothy 4:8
God does not promise us an easy road. There are mountains each of us has to climb, and how well we are prepared beforehand determines how difficult that ascent will be. Times of ease can dull us into thinking that we can coast along through life without putting in any extra effort. Then when difficulties rise up, we find that we have lost our strength, and are much more easily knocked off-center.
If your life right now seems like a kiddie slide at the playground, maybe it’s time to really dig into God’s Word. Take time to ask Him how it applies to your life, and listen! Then put it into practice. Jesus said,
Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. ~Matthew 7:24
Train yourself for godliness!
If, on the other hand, you are struggling up a seemingly insurmountable mountain, you are already giving it all you’ve got. Know that you are not alone, for God promises that He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). Keep putting one foot in front of the other, knowing that there will be an end to the climb. When you reach the peak, look back and see how far He has brought you. You will be amazed! I hope you enjoy the view.