Climbing The Mountain

Woman hiking along Knife Edge Trail of Mount Katahdin Northeast Piscataquis Maine USA

When I was eighteen I climbed Mt. Katahdin. It is the highest point in Maine at 5,200+ in elevation and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. It was a HARD climb.

I was a high school athlete in good shape but I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Our guide for the climb was an older gentleman who had climbed it many times. He warned us at the bottom that to make it up the mountain and back down before dark we needed to maintain a steady pace all day, and once we reached Cathedral Trail there was no turning back.

I had no problem getting to Cathedral Trail (3.5 miles) and naively thought I had it made. Then we reached the “cathedral” part of the trail. The rock formations were tall and majestic, reminiscent of a cathedral, but we were no longer climbing over rocks we were climbing UP boulders. (Think of a fallen Jenga pile – 3 of them!)I admit, at one point I sat down and cried. I was exhausted and did not know where my strength would come from for one more upward climb.

Our guide sat down beside me and encouraged me. On the other side of this climb was the summit and he knew I could make it to the top and he would help me to accomplish it. And he did. Step by step he walked me over the last climb and then in a few yards, we were there.

The view was magnificent!

The trail down was easier, (and much longer) but we reached the bottom before darkness fell. It is an experience I will never forget.

Life can be like this at times. The unexpected challenge surprises us when we have deadlines and commitments. Or the unending daily challenge of an illness or a disability is relentless and the respite doesn’t come.

One thing remains true, my friends, and that is the goodness of our God. Psalm 27:13 states it clearly for us. “I remain confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord.” Look around and most importantly look UP. Where have you seen God’s goodness today?

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