The climb was laborious.
The view was breathtaking.
And my stomach, she was howling!
I sat at the top of the mountain and couldn’t say a word. However, I wasn’t speechless from the view. I was in a daze from the first half of a turkey and cheese sandwich I had already shoveled into my mouth. My stomach was growling. Before I could fully participate in the moment, I needed to feed the beast.
A few weeks ago, during my winter vacation, I climbed a mountain for the first time in my life, Sierra de Rute and Horconera in Rute, España. Sierra de Rute has a height that exceeds 1,100 meters/1,202 feet. This sierra is a part of the steepest and highest range in Córdoba. With an expansive pine forest, a multitude of extreme slopes, and a watchtower built by Muslims in the 14th century, this is a ridge worth travailing. When you finally reach the top, you can physically see different cities in the south of Spain like Granada and Malaga. *checks “climb a mountain” off of my bucket list*
This was my first time trekking. I thought trekking would be similar to hiking, but I was totally wrong. Trekking is “a long arduous journey, typically on foot” (Google 1). The keyword here is “arduous” – more sweat is involved. While hiking is “the activity of going for long walks, especially across country” (Google 2). I find that hikes are more laidback.
Trekking involves spending time on a trail that is less accessible than your typical hiking path, which makes it “arduous.” There are steep inclines, rocky pathways & no tree markers. It’s different! You can get away with a water bottle on a hike, but trekking requires a backpack with essentials, e.g. snacks & lunch, walking poles, first-aid kit, layered clothing, etc. I felt like I was trooping to a campsite!
I was prepared with my essentials, but Lord knows I was not prepared for a four almost five hour walk. Thank God for my colleagues’ patience. This was new to me. And I kept reminding myself to “take it slow.” There was no need to rush – we had all day. But when we finally reached the top, good God, I felt victorious! This was an adventure like no other, and I’d do it again. The view of the glistening lakes, the fresh air hitting my skin, and the glowing turkey and cheese sandwich I prepared were all worth it.
I had been to the mountaintop! I stood on the bluff, looked out into the vast blue sky and started tearing up. I’m certain God made me emotionally-in-touch for moments like these. I was witnessing the Lord’s artistry. The brush strokes from His creativity were evident in the landscape before me. The sky’s sapphire hue ombred to white blending in with the snow peaks in the distance. The eagles glided above me one-by-one creating their own air show, and the olive bushels like polka dots decorated themselves across the fields.
God certainly did not need anyones help when he designed this scenery. This was a miracle. I know that everyday His miracles are around me. The first breath in the morning, the support of my school’s teachers’, the sunsetting in the evening, these are all miracles. But if you’re not careful, if you’re not present, you can miss these miracles all around you. Earlier, I mentioned that I couldn’t be present in the moment because I was distracted by hunger. And that’s what life can be – a ton of distractions.
We are living in such a critical time in history. We are experiencing a global pandemic. Black fathers, uncles, brothers, sons and more are being murdered in the streets. Terrorists are storming the Capitol. Everything keeps piling on. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting. It’s scary. There are so many trauma-inducing moments. And I keep wondering “when will all the madness end?” Everything just seems messy, muddy even. However, just like I was on that peak looking into the peaceful abyss, I am reminded that there is calm in the chaos. There is quiet amidst the noise. There is tranquility amongst the distractions. Where? On Jesus. If you keep your eyes on Him, He will see you through the storm, the noise, and the distractions. It’s muddy, yes! However, mud extracts impurities from the skin. Sometimes, you’ve got to get a little dirty before you can be clean again. Focus on Jesus. He is your help. He strengthens you. And he keeps you. Hold onto his hand, dear ones. Don’t ever let go.