Sunrise on the mountain. A lofty goal (pun intended). And my husband’s idea. When he, on a vacation in the mountains, suggested we get up at the crack of oh-my-gosh-it’s-early in order to drive up the mountain in the dark and watch the sun come up, my spirit of adventure pulled the covers back up over my head as I burrowed down into the depths of warmth in my safe and comfortable bed.
Have I mentioned that my husband is not only enthusiastic for life, but very persuasive? That’s pretty much how he came to be my husband in the first place. So warm cup of coffee in hand and seat heaters turned on for maximum effect, I settled into the passenger seat as we took off in the pitch black of a moonless night to seek out a route to the top on the poorly designated trails that led up the side of the mountain.
I would not bring up the number of times we had to turn around, or even better, back down the narrow, you’re-only-inches-away-from-death roads (and I am using the word ‘road’ rather generously) if it wasn’t absolutely pertinent to this story. You see there came a point—after we had passed the same tree—for the fourth or fifth time that I began to lose hope that we would make it to the top in time to see the sun rise. I started thinking about all I had given up—a few hours more sleep in a warm bed, a second cup of coffee, the assurance that I wasn’t about to make the “stupid tourist news” when we drove off a cliff—on a mission that was about to fail.
Have I mentioned that my husband is also a never say quit person? We really had no idea how far away we were from reaching the top, or how much time was left before the sun peeked over the horizon, but as the pitch black gave way to gray, and the gray to soft orange, the mountain came to life as we drove. We had the beautiful, fragile quiet of the awakening mountain all to ourselves. Suddenly it didn’t matter so much if we missed the actual sunrise. It was no longer the only point of the trip.
By something that can only be described as the loving grace of God, we were still enjoying each other’s company as we explored this strangely still world—the color of the aspen leaves in the first light of day, the frost that settled in the low places, the smell of the pines mixed with the forest floor in the cold, sharp morning air.
I’m happy to report that we did make it, and with seconds to spare I might add. And while it was beautiful, I understood that it was just one piece in the breathtaking puzzle of God’s creation we experienced that morning.
And I understood had we given up because we didn’t believe we were going to reach our intended goal, we would have missed out on so much. How different would our lives be if we took that knowledge into everything we do, understanding the things to be seen and discovered along the way are often as important or valuable as the destination?
I wrote a book. Childbirth was easier—and I had twins, just saying!
Now I don’t know what will become of my book. I hope it will touch people, inspire someone, maybe change some lives. It may end up living out it’s existence on my hard drive, or on paper in the back of the file cabinet. Was it worth the journey? Yes! I have learned things I never set out to learn. I have become friends with people I wouldn’t otherwise have met. And I have spent countless hours walking with God, searching His word, and listening for His voice in the words that rattled from my head onto the page.
My encouragement to you, don’t miss the adventure because the destination seems too far away or difficult to reach.
Be careful how narrowly you define success. There is much to enjoy in the journey!
Now it's your turn. I'd love to hear your tales of misadventures that led to something even better than expected.