We tackled Bear Mountain today… 2.6 miles one way and 1800 feet up. The website for Sedona hiking trails indicates this is a “strenuous trail” which means “near vertical climbs in rock crevices. It also said it is “the trail were hikers have to be rescued” – hikers were rescued in 2008, and the rescue resulted in the death of one of the rescuers. Let me just say this. We read this AFTER we had finished our hike, and we were back safe and sound in our hotel room. So lesson #1 is this: It might be a good idea to read about the trail BEFORE you start hiking it, although I will say that I did not think it was that bad at all.
What else did I learn on the trail today?
#2. Soaking in the majesty of this incredible earth God has given us could put a smile on the grumpiest person’s face. Everyone we passed on the trail was happy, and all were encouraging. They all said it was worth the climb and cheered us on.
#3. The best trails are clearly marked, which is incredibly helpful when every way up looks hard. I sure was thankful for the cairns on the trail we traveled today. Cam made his own cairn on Bear Mountain.
#4. Staying on the trail is good for your health! The poster child for this lesson was an 80-year-old man from New York who had already been to the top and was headed down. He was making it look easy.
#5. Make sure you have solid footing before you take the next step. If you’re foundation is not firm, you can find yourself in a slippery situation. I was sure thankful for Cam’s and Logan’s helping hands to make sure I did not fall.
And these lessons got me to thinking. They don’t really just apply to the trails we hike in the mountains, but they apply to our faith journey, too.
#1. Spending time in God’s Word before we start our day is essential.
#2. It is important to encourage others in their walk with Christ.
#3. God’s Word is the very best trail marker in life. It can clearly guide us, no matter how tough the trail might be.
#4. When we walk in God’s will – stay on HIS path – it’s good for our spiritual health.
#5. If my belief and faith is not secure in Christ, I will fall. And, fellow believers journeying with me hold me accountable.
The lessons I learned on the trail today and the ones I cling tightly to on my faith journey help me ensure I will reach my final destination. And, it is definitely worth it!