Monday, September 1, 2014

I Might...I Might Not...Put to the Test

If you read my blog posting, I Might...I Might Not, from Friday, Aug 29, you may remember that I spoke about the power of our words, and how we become what we believe. I mentioned that I often fear that I might see a bear in the woods, but I could change that and say, I might not see a bear today.  I also mentioned that I get scared off of difficult hikes because of high and precarious trails. I'm still working on that. However...

This past weekend's hike took us to Norvin Green State Forest in Bloomingdale, NJ.  Beautiful country in Northwestern NJ. "The Book" (I got a new and improved one and tossed the old one!) suggested a 5.8 mile moderate to strenuous hike that would take about four and a half hours. Since it was a bit strenuous, we decided to leave Lucy at home. Very smart move. They weren't kidding when they said strenuous. And it wasn't "a bit" strenuous. The ups and downs were expected. The huge rocks we had to climb were not. Not five minutes into the hike, we encountered boulders. Lucy would have had a tough time.

The high point (if you'll excuse the pun) of the hike was the Wyanokie "Hi-Point," a spot that was somewhat difficult to get to, definitely something Lucy would not have been able to maneuver, but the views were spectacular! 360 degree vista, and you could see the New York City skyline, some 50 or so miles away.
The Wyanokie Reservoir and the NYC Skyline in the distance
Decided to take a "selfie" at the top of the vista
I got to the top and felt just slightly off balance, but realized that there was plenty of room to walk around and take pictures, etc. Brian disappeared and the next thing I knew, he was beckoning me down, closer to the edge. "The best place for pictures is down here!" He kept repeating this, and I thought, "How can that be? I'm higher up." But I finally followed and discovered that he was right! However, I felt awfully close to the edge, even though I was standing on a huge rock and had about ten feet around me on every side. I kept thinking of my own words, "I might not..." instead of worrying that I might fall off.

Then, suddenly, this scripture popped into my head. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights (Ps 18:33).

Instantly, I felt the power of God enable me, giving me strength, taking away the anxiety in the pit of my stomach. The fear that wanted to embrace me crumbled like the pebbles under my feet on the trail. If I let my guard down, it crept back in. It was this unspoken voice that said, "Oh, I'm afraid! I can't stand on this rock. I can't sit down and enjoy the view. I might fall." But each time I heard that voice that told me to be afraid, I simply repeated that verse. The truth is, I'm not shaky. I don't lose my balance. There is really no reason for me to fear that I might fall. I decided not to give in to my fear, to repeat God's word and I actually relaxed, sat down and truly marveled at the view.

Empowered by my fresh infusion of faith, I soldiered on...until I got to this boulder which had to be climbed. There you see Brian at the top, having conquered his obstacle. I decided to use my new faith, for scripture says, If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you (Matt 17:20-21). 

It didn't work. 

I said, "MOVE" in my most authoritative voice, and it didn't. Maybe it was because I didn't say, "Move from here to there." I didn't actually give it a specific place to move to. Mountains are kind of stupid that way. Or maybe I didn't say, "MOVE in the name of Jesus!" Whatever the case, the mountain is still there. On the positive side, I did conquer it. Maybe that's what it's all about. Conquering. Conquering my fear of falling off the edge. Conquering the obstacles that get in our way. Telling the obstacle to literally move most likely won't work. But telling yourself that with the power of God, you will overcome the obstacle...well then, you've conquered it, and essentially, it has been moved. 

...we are more than conquerors through him who loved us...nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Rom 8:37 & 35).

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the hike tomorrow when I look for a loose whale. Yes, you read that correctly...a loose whale. To be continued.

Blessings Along the Path as you overcome and conquer!

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