One Christmas my family and some friends went to a ski lodge that sat on the border of Germany and Austria.
The mountains were amazing and the views were spectacular! The very first night we arrived we noticed a small light at the tippy, tippy top of one of the mountains. I couldn’t help but try to imagine what type of old home sat in that spot and dreamt up a story of an old German couple living the quiet life and enjoying their time overlooking the beautiful village below.
One night, after hearing others rave about a local sledding trip, we signed up and decided to give it a go.
We piled on the clothes, coats, gloves, boots and hats and the “tour guide” handed us our sleds turned and pointed to the small light beaming from the top of the mountain. "Go there," he said.
“How do we get there?” Dad asked.
The tour guide pointed towards a 2 foot wide snow and ice filled opening in the woods. “Follow the path up to the light.”
The path was extremely narrow, curvy, rocky and slippery. Trees lined both sides of the trail but at many points, a cliff, rather than trees lined the path. One bad move and we would be off the side of the mountain so we were very careful to watch our steps and the men made sure to walk behind the women in order to catch us should we slip. We walked over streams, had to duck under tree branches and make our way around larger boulders.
Within minutes of our journey we lost sight of the light on top of the mountain. All we had to lead us was the small, treacherous path.
For the first thirty minutes or so our dispositions were lively and we talked and enjoyed each other’s company. Quickly however, our moods began to sour, the climb was becoming very difficult. Some of us were out of shape and tired and the complaining and deliberation began.
But, we kept on marching... and kept on complaining. Before long we were stripping off clothes and the men were stuck pulling the ladies sleds as well as their own. My little brother was left to push my mom and the General’s wife from behind.
We were miserable and wanted the adventure to end.
After about three hours we finally reached the top and we were exhausted yet ecstatic. We were ready for some fun... until we learned that the path we were supposed to take down.... was the same dangerous path we walked up.
Our little adventure had turned into a night of risking life and limb and even the men weren’t looking forward to it. But as if it were a military exercise, they quickly devised a strategy.
We would “sled” one at a time with my little brother leading the way. He was directed to reach the first curve in the path, stop, get off his sled, stash it in the trees and wait for next person to join him. At their arrival he would grab them to keep them from falling off the cliff. (I am not joking here people – this was necessary.) So, off Rob went and within moments he called for the next person to go.
The General’s wife took off and all we could hear were her screams and the words “I just wet my pants!”
The remaining terrified “sledders” burst into laughter and the night again became joy filled – horrifying but enjoyable. We took turns sledding small sections of the mountain and Rob dutifully caught each and every one of us.
Screams of terror and laughter filled the mountain side as we finally allowed ourselves to give in and enjoy the adventure.
After a three hour climb, the sledding was over in less than an hour. After reaching the bottom we all agreed that the last hour was the most fun we'd ever had, and wished we would be around for another day so that we could do it all again.
I still look back on that night and laugh so hard that tears fill my eyes. What a wonderful experience and important life lesson.
Gosh, sometimes God asks us to go on journey’s that are really scary. When we begin and we can clearly see Him, it can be bearable. But, when the path becomes difficult and we lose sight of the Lord, it can become downright dangerous and alarming.
Realistically, all we can do is follow the path that God laid out in front of us, and trust that although we can’t see Him, He’s still there and waiting for us like a light, at the top of our mountain.
The climb may not only be scary, it may hurt. It may require a lot of pain and suffering but He asked us to climb that mountain because He knew that the reward would be well worth it.
In the story I just shared, our journey didn’t end with the climb, it continued and we were forced to go back down the same way we came.
But, with God being the amazing and creative force that He is, we learned an entirely new lesson on our way down.
If u trust God'll b there 2 catch u, a frightening journey can turn n2 an adventure of a lifetime.