Sunday, October 19, 2008
Lessons of a 50 mile hike
When I was 12 or 13 my scout troop joined in an event called a 50/20. The goal of a 50/20 was to walk 50 miles in 20 hours or less. Several hundred scouts started walking from the "This is the Place Monument" in Salt Lake about 6:00 PM. Those who made it finished on Center Street in Provo sometime the next afternoon.
Throughout the night we had cars meet our group with food and drink. Sometime around 3:00 AM, scouts started to drop out during these short breaks. By 6:00 AM, as the sun was almost ready to peek out and brighten the day, my dad and I were the last people from our group still walking. A truck pulled up for our next pit stop, and I gratefully grabbed a cup of hot chocolate. I walked around to the back of the truck, peering in I saw several of my friends wrapped up in a heap of blankets. They were warm, and they were asleep. I had never wanted anything so bad as to climb in that truck, curl up, and get my own rest. As I stared longingly at my snoring friends, my dad walked up to me, put his arm on my shoulder and said "Are you thinking about quitting?"
"Yes I am", was my quiet reply.
He looked thoughtful for a few minutes. Then gently grabbed my hand. "You've come way to far to quit now. Let's go." I followed him away from the truck and back on to the dark road. We finished that walk the next day in just over 19 hours. To this day I am proud of that accomplishment.
Years later as I struggled with the difficult changes I needed to make in my life. I have had many moments where I have looked at the task ahead and wanted to give up. Each time I have felt the Lords guidance telling me "You've come to far to quit now". He has been there for me every time I have been ready to give up.
Personal change can be difficult. But by putting one foot in front of the other, and never giving up, it happens. The Lord will guide us by the hand as long as we are willing to continue the journey. If we climb in the truck and give up, there is nothing he can do for us. The journey may be painful and will almost certainly be hard, but by continually pressing on in the faith of the Lord, we will reach our goal.