I love hiking! Since the days of living in Bluefield, West Virginia, which included hiking to the top of East River Mountain and traipsing through the woods hunting, the outdoors are continually calling me. Last Saturday, I had the joy of hiking Black Balsam near Graveyard Fields on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This area is known for its balds which reminded me of Roan Mountain. We stopped for breakfast in Brevard and were greeted with the warm, encouraging sun as we exited the restaurant. I’m thinking, this is going to be a beautiful hike! Halfway up the mountain to the parkway, the sky started to grow darker. When we arrived at the trail head, we were met with ice pellets, blustery winds, and COLD! Standing at the back of the car, putting on our layers, packing some protein, and watching the clouds hover ever so close, I knew this would be an exhilarating hike!
As we fought the wind up the mountain, I realized I had left my gloves back home. My hands were freezing! Rick suggested I use a pair of sox. Am I ever glad I packed an extra pair in my pack! The winds howled and the clouds hid the sun and the views. I remember one major turn in the trail that put us trudging dead center into the wind. Eventually, we reached an area over 6,000 feet and tucked ourselves down below some rocks to break the wind and to have a snack. It was still cold, but we were having an awesome time!
After an hour or more, the clouds started to dissipate a bit and move on. The sun warmed us and the views were spectacular. We could see Looking Glass Rock in the distance and Graveyard Fields below. Looking another direction was Shining Rock. The hike back to the car involved walking an old railroad bed. You could see the old bed across the valley on the opposite hill and hear in your mind that steam locomotive climbing the steep grade.
The best part of the hike was the fellowship Rick, Andrew, and I enjoyed. One very special moment was stopping along the trail to pray for lost family members and friends who need to come to Christ for salvation. What a blessing to have eyes to see God’s creation, words to speak, a heart to rejoice, and a voice to sing along the trail and to speak to other hikers as they pass.
Hiking is 70 – 80% attitude as you hike changing altitudes, weather and trail conditions. To keep going through all the challenges on a trail, you must have the right attitude for it will be tested. That is much like life. Every day our journey Home to Glory is affected by our outlook on life. For followers of Christ, what attitude should we have on the trail of life? Let this mind be in your which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5). In other words, your attitude should be the same as Jesus’ attitude. Furthermore, Hebrews 12:2-3, tells us how to have that Christlike attitude, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
Meditate on this today, keep your hiking poles in your hand, and enjoy the view, the journey.
We choose what attitudes we have right now. And it’s a continuing choice. ~ John C. Maxwell