By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.” 2 Peter 1:3
It was a cute little sign…if only it had told the whole truth. Well, I was still in North Carolina and my wife Judy was still in Illinois. If she had been with me this probably wouldn’t have happened. The schedule gives us some time off Tuesday afternoon just to relax or whatever. I decided to drive up to Mount Mitchell which is the highest point east of the Mississippi River. It was only about thirty miles and best of all most of it was on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Because of the elevation, there was already some beautiful color on some of the trees. God was doing it again.
Judy and I had made this drive last year but on that particular day everything was “socked” in. There were heavy clouds, a misty fog, a strong wind, and it was quite chilly. This year, the skies were blue, and the sun was shining bright. While there was a wind, and it was still chilly…it made for a perfect day to see what God had been up to. There’s an area called Craggy Gardens where there is an observation place and a welcome center. Well, before I got to that I saw a sign that said Craggy Gardens Picnic Area. It looked interesting so I turned left.
When I got to the top and to the parking area, I happened to see a sign. I walked over and it said, “Trail to welcome center.” It also gave the distance which was a mere eight tenths of a mile. Roundtrip was just 1.6 miles and I do two miles a day regularly, so this wasn’t even a challenge. I slipped on my boots, grabbed my walking stick, and headed to the trail. To get started there were about ten steps. Well, this is where all the trouble started. While the sign said where you were going and it even told you how far, it failed to mention the fact that it was all, and I do mean all, uphill.
Now there is uphill and there is UPHILL and this one was exactly that. In short order I was huffing and puffing like an old steam train engine. Now keep in mind I walk fast regularly. None of that made a lick of difference. This trail was a monster…a preacher eater if there ever was one. Well, I finally made it to some sort of a shelter where I could sit down and try and catch my breath. A couple of people showed up and I asked if they knew CPR and they quickly moved on…I was on my own.
Before I could stand, two more people came, and they were from Singapore. They spoke limited English, but they did assure me that the welcome center was somewhere ahead…about 500 meters. So, I followed them and suddenly realized we were now going downhill about as steep as I had been going uphill. I asked one more time how much further it was to the welcome center, and he pointed down, way down in the valley. It then occurred to me we had not parked in the same place. My car was at the picnic area and his was at the welcome center. He was almost back, and I was still heading away from my car. I made a decision…a wise decision…a lifesaving decision.
I told them I was turning around, and they smiled and eventually, I made it back to the car. I wanted to tell the little sign what I thought but figured it wouldn’t matter. After all he had told the truth…just not the whole truth or the whole story. Exhausted, it felt great to pull off my boots and get into the car. Soaked with sweat…I knew I was done. Maybe.
I went ahead and drove up to the top of Mount Mitchell, elevation 6,638 feet. When I got there, there was another little sign. It said it was only 300 yards to the observation deck. I said, “Anyone can do 300 yards.” Well, off I went. You know what, I am a slow learner. Yup, it was only 300 yards…straight up. At the top, huffing and puffing, I looked around and then headed down. I had had my fill of “mountain goating” and it was time for this preacher to go take a nap. And I did.
The point of this story is simple. Before you take a hike make sure the signs are telling you the truth. And before you take a hike down the path of life, make sure the signs along the way are telling the truth and giving you all the information, you need. If not, you might end up huffing and puffing and looking for someone who knows CPR. Can I make a suggestion? Before you start, read the Guide to Hiking through Life Book, the Bible. It is all true, and it gives you everything you need to succeed in your journey. I didn’t see a ranger that day, but I can promise you there will be One guiding you as you hike the trails of life. Some call Him God, some call Him Father, but I still like knowing He is my Dearest Daddy. And no matter what, He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne