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From The Mouth of Babes

Call it punishment or reward, I decided yesterday since I couldn't run the 10k with my Dad I would hike with the boys. So with a kiddie backpack (intended for an infant under 30 lbs) and a jogging stroller I set out with both kids for a 4 mile hike.


I knew I would eventually end up carrying/pushing both, but it was worth the challenge. At first there was a lot of whinning, "my legs are tired", scuffling of the feet, and dragging, but as we headed down the PT path, the tone began to change. Suddenly, entering the "wilderness" our imaginations began to get the best of us. There were PT obstacles to climb on, massive ant hills to learn about, and rock walls to climb on. The path (my favorite running path) gets out of the neighborhoods and into fields and behind large hills/mini-mountains. Aidan and I had the chance to talk and I told him this is where I go running and asked him to take notice of how quiet it was. I told him when I am running and its quiet it is easier for me to pray to God and listen. I told him about a large hill that you can climb at the half-way mark where you could see the whole city. And that is all it took, he let go of the whining and was determined to climb that "peak". As we got closer, we stopped at a rock wall that has some significance to me. I pass it all the time, it's man-made and it intrigues me because I have seen something similar in my dreams. It looms as a constant reminder of walls to break through and that what often stops us from reaching greatness is usually ourselves- something we have built that should be torn down. As I watched both boys climb it and conquer it in their own way, I made the mental note of how easy it was for them and the adventure and joy that cames from summiting even a wall. That wall still holds mystery for me that has not been unveiled, but I am enjoying the journey. 

*Pictures are from a previous hike to the same spot in the spring*

When we got to the hill, Aidan ran to the top. It is a false peak there and I pointed to another hill, with a narrow rocky path much different than the PT path and told him that the real challenge was hiking to the very top (fully expecting him to be done after 1 1/2 miles). Surprisingly, he set off for the real climb. The stroller could only go so far, so I put Jack on my shoulders and followed Aidan. On the way up, he was quoting a Veggie Tales Movie where the character almost gave up climbing a similar wall, but chose to do it anyways. When we reached the top, Aidan had the biggest smile on his face- a feeling of accomplishment. He remarked at how beautiful it was and how much he could see. We talked about how some of the most beautiful things are reached the hard way and the only way we could have seen it was to leave the car and hike here. He asked to pray. My five year old asked to pray... He bowed his head and said, "God, thank you for all the hills and mountains to climb... and thank you for the people we can love."
Shock could be the appropriate word. I seem to be daily climbing my own mountain these days and God has definitely given that as an obvious theme in my life. Before I even got here I was told that the mountains would be a reminder that the Great High Priest was with me. They are a sign of comfort, and yet now they represent something to climb, part of a journey. I guess through the mouth of a babe I am reminded once again that the climb may be tough, but when we reach the summit, we not only feel like we made it, but gratitude is on order. Not just for the provision of strength to struggle through, but thanks to be given for the actual obstacle. Struggling through has a way of reminding you of who you are, that there is more to the day than the fight, there is purpose. I am reminded of my calling, to struggle through and be thankful for it, to praise the one who gave me the climb in the first place, and thank Him for all the people around me there is to love. May I not be tired, but stretch that self-will to reach out more.