Never Give Up

“One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭18:1‬ ‭

In my defence, it was an uphill battle.

To a prairie girl born and raised, where everywhere is flat and nowhere is up, it was enough to get the heart rate up and then some.

Simply put, it was all up.

Except for falling into moose tracks. That was definitely down.

Perhaps I should explain.

Picture, if you will, a lovely mountain trail along a burbling creek. The sun is shining and despite the frigid temperatures, there is warmth in it. The gradient is a gentle slope – up, if you will, but not enough to stop conversation.

Not yet.

We come to a fork. To the right, more of the gentle gradient. To the left, a steeper climb.

To the left, we go.

The puffing begins in earnest.

To the mix, add the fact that a moose has at some point in the not too distant past decided that the left fork is his destiny. His tracks, partly covered by fresh snow, become an obstacle course, a game of forest roulette, if you will. At inconvenient and altogether unexpected intervals, one foot or the other hits said track just right and whoomp, down goes the leg into a hole.

The puffing is taken up a notch. Step, step, oops, step, step, step, sink.

The trail winds through a lovely mix of lodgepole pine and white fir, and the occasional ginormous cottonwood.

I’m too fogged up to appreciate it. At these temperatures, and at this degree of puffing, my glasses are encrusted with a layer of ice.

Whoomp.

Dang moose.

I’m falling behind.

I’m imagining what timber wolves look like in person. I’m wondering how much longer Hubby wants to travel to get to our lunch spot. I’m feeling old and stiff. I’m regretting some Christmas treats. I’m feeling the cold, the altitude, and the general up.

When I come to this.

Keep going’.

I laugh out loud. Hubby has been inspired to motivate me with a stick and some signage – and it works.

Around every bend is a new missive. My pace accelerates. I’m giggling now – each sign is more and more ridiculous and delightful. The spell of ‘woe is me’ is broken.

One last turn, and there it is – a rocky ledge overlooking the valley, tucked in from the wind, junipers and lichen-covered rocks dotting the landscape.

We eat lunch. It’s lovely. I am completely refreshed.

It is only on the journey back that I realize how up the trek in had been. Going down is a breeze. We take a side trip and head up to one last ridge for a magnificent view.

The descent takes no time at all.

And I think – how like life this is.

We don’t always recognize how hard something is until later. We are puffing like steam engines, wondering how long we can hack it, not realizing how steep and difficult the terrain really is.

We think about turning back.

And then, we get the sign.

Keep going.

Just. Keep. Going.

Just when you feel you can’t put one foot in front of the other, along comes a rocky outcropping, a refuge from the wind, a rest from your labours.

And then, a lovely surprise – a downhill section.

Wherever you are at in your trail today, I urge you – keep going. Keep praying. Keep serving. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, because no matter what you face, not all trails are always uphill in frigid temperatures with moose tracks to fall into.

As my mother-in-law has often encouraged me, “This too shall pass.” And as Jesus Himself taught, we should ‘always pray and never give up’.

Keep going with me?

Father, some trails we find ourselves in are challenging and discouraging! Remind us today that there are beautiful surprises around the corner of the hard places, and that persistence and resilience are necessary skills to be successful in our journeys with You. Amen.

Published by melodylowes

I am actually a bit of a mess. But in the mess, I’m finding security in knowing I am chosen, I am forgiven, and I matter. After uncovering a history of abuse in my past, I have done a lot of healing - and writing is one way I can invite you deeper into your own healing journey! I write devotionals about the complicated thing called life at growing-in-grace.ca, and my poetry is stashed at melodylowes.com. Pull up a chair and a coffee or tea and let's grow together!

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