Sometimes a hike is a climb. That is, sometimes things aren’t what you expect them to be.
On Saturday, my friend Shane invited me and some friends to go on a hike. Approximately six miles round trip, no big deal. I was super excited, but I was worried that a) I would be the only girl and I would look like a wimp if I wasn’t super hiker or b) that more girls would go and our group would be slowed down. Where I grew up, people go on hikes all the time. Hiking is a big thing in the Eastern Sierras. I’m used to steep trails up mountains. Our hike was on a S0-Cal trail… not the Eastern Sierras, not up a steep mountain. We went a mile and a half, maybe two miles on a fairly flat trail. I was ahead of the pack, I knew I could do this, and I hoped to find some rocks to climb so I could be awesome like I do. Well, then we hit the difficult part, or as I call it, the “fun” part. We got to climb up and over this ridge to get to the top of a waterfall so we would follow the river up to the next waterfall. I was so excited, yes climbing! However, not everyone was as excited. Not everyone is used to climbing. Our group started to slow down.
Eventually, we reached the second waterfall. A natural water slide, good for jumping off. Maybe a twenty foot drop, I thought, others were thinking forty, but we can’t all be right. Some of the boys went off it, so I decided it looked awesome, and I did it too. Two people got hurt. They got to climb back over the ridge in pain. No one expected this. Sometimes a hike is a climb. Sometimes exciting things bring others pain.
Saturday night, as I was drifting off, God told me to text Becky, (my pastor’s wife and the worship leader at my church), and tell her I wouldn’t be at church the next day. I was tired and assumed it was just me telling myself things. I had no reason to miss church.
Sunday morning, I woke up after sleeping a wonderful 13 to 14 hours. Again, God told me to text Becky and tell her I couldn’t be at church. Again I ignored this, because I had no reason to miss church. I was rested. I was healthy. I was not behind on any homework.
On my way to church, I suddenly hit roadblocks. I tried to find my way around them. Finally, I listened to God. I texted Becky and told her I couldn’t make it to church. Now what was I supposed to do?
I didn’t want to go back to school right away, so I began thinking of something I could do, somewhere I could go and just read my Bible. God told me to go to the mall and get Dairy Queen. What? I was so confused. He then told me someone would be there that I had to talk to. Dangit, I had to go minister to strangers. I never do this alone. But I finally wrapped my mind around the idea of finding someone.
I got to the food court at the mall and I looked around for the person I was supposed to talk to. I saw two hispanic guys sitting together. “Oh God, it’s not them. Someone else?” It was them. I finally worked up enough courage to go up to them, having no idea what I would say. Their names were David and Alex. I sort of asked them about their beliefs in God, but ended up telling Alex that I used to isolate myself, so I’m spending my semester out of my room, trying to be more social. He looked at me and said, “Sometimes, you need to realize that you are not isolated, and you just need to spend some time for yourself.” What the heck?! I thought I was going to the mall to minister to someone. Instead, I heard exactly what God wanted me to hear. Sometimes a hike is a climb.