Monday, September 24, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I along with my hiking buddy and another visiting retired Air Force Chaplain, took on the trail to the first summit of the four summit Treasure Mountain. We had gone to just below that summit before. But this time I was determined to get to the top of the first summit at 12, 257 ft.

Once at the spot we had reached before, I looked for a path up the last
100-200 ft. I could not spot a trail so I started scrambling up. The Chaplain friend that was with us followed me and my buddy stayed put (she is not big into scrambling up mountains without a trail).

I started up a boulder scree field. A scree field is made up of loose material instead of "steadfast" material. My Chaplain friend started up on tundra with sure footing. Now you tell me which one of us was smarter!!!

Being on LOOSE boulders I started having trouble with my footing and was in a "slippery" situation!! I had three options: 1. slide down on my behind, 2. get up the mountain somehow unscathed or 3. slide uncontrollably down on my belly. Now you tell me which you would choose.

I was determined to make it up if at all possible. My chaplain friend came to my aid. He came prepared. He had a strong small rope. He took off his belt and tied the rope to it, braced himself around a boulder and lowered the rope to me. This allowed me to make it to the next boulder to stablelize myself. He did this twice until we both could scramble up.

I wonder just how many times God has lowered a rope to me to help me out of situations that I had some how created myself?

Once on top we had a 360 degree panoramic majestic view of the mountain ranges all around us. It was breathtaking! On the very top there was a small cairn (this is a pile of rocks built by people to mark trails or to say that they too have been there). I gathered some rocks to add to the cairn. As I built up the small cairn I prayed this prayer: Father, Abraham, Issac, and the saints of old built alters to You to honor You and today I continue that tradition. I praise You for Your majestic handy work! I praise You that I am here to see Your work. The Spirit began to pray through me and it was a very sacred moment that I will long remember.

We began our descent. We yelled down at our buddy who stayed below to see if she could spot a good way down. She pointed to our right. We looked over and saw a washed out but visible trail down. We both were able to walk down on sure footing. The thing is that if we had spotted that section before our climb, we could have walked right up! We just had to laugh. Once we joined our friend, we asked her why she didn't follow us up. She responded that she thought that at least one of us should be prudent! You've got to love it!

"When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, 'Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.' He was afraid and said, ' How awesome is this place!' This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.' Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called that place Bethel ......Genesis 28; 16-18

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