Back in September, my family and I, took a hike at a place called Raven Cliffs Falls. We had never been there before and were looking for a new adventure.
We got one. The GPS wasn’t working very well. Cell phones and mountains do not mix. We got lost on the way and ended up in North Carolina, but we enjoyed the warm weather and when we finally got there, we were super excited to just get out of the car.
It was early afternoon and we didn’t eat lunch because we had a late, heavy breakfast. The trail was beautiful and we got some fabulous pictures of waterfalls, but as it got later, we got tired and hungry. We didn’t know how long the trail was and we didn’t bring any provisions.
As the trail began to wind away from the creek we had been following and we kept seeing fewer people, we decided to turn back. Our cell service wasn’t working and we weren’t sure if there was anything else to see. We felt like there might be, but weren’t willing to chance it. We gave up and went searching for an early dinner.
As it turned out, we gave up too early. When we returned home and Googled it, we realized that there was something really beautiful at the end of that trail, a waterfall running between two cliffs. We vowed to return when it was a little cooler and the leaves were changing colors.
On Sunday, we went back to try it again. But, this time, we knew the way and I brought water and snacks. The Gaines Family was on a mission.
We moved easily through the first part of the trail. We passed by all of those pretty waterfalls once again. But, then, just as before, the trail began to wind, with nothing to see, but trees. There were parts that were kind of narrow as we continued to walk. We were hot and tired. My son asked me if I was sure that there was anything at all at the end of the trail. I stubbornly assured him that there was.
We trudged on and we passed someone coming back from where we were heading. We asked him if we were close. He assured us we were.
Encouraged, we walked a little further and there it was. There was a clearing and then a huge mountain stood right in front of us. And there was the waterfall we had been seeking.
It was beautiful. It was worth the hike. We sat and rested for a while. We drank some water and had a snack. We took lots of pictures and my son even wanted us to climb up the steep rock face. We did, but that’s a story for another post.
As we headed back down that trail, we met a weary couple who asked if they were close. This time, we could encourage someone and assured them they were.
Our hikes reminded me how it’s very easy to give up on whatever we are pursuing when we get tired and aren’t prepared. Whether it’s a dream we are chasing, or a relationship or even our faith. The right provisions make all of he difference.
When we pray, read the Bible, and surround ourselves with others who have been successful, we can find what we are seeking, and it’s always worth the work. But, we can’t give up. After we make it, then we are called to encourage others on their journey. It’s a beautiful circle.
A second attempt at a hiking trail reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.
Have an awesome day!