Thursday, September 9, 2010

And a little child shall lead them

Carolyne Aarsen here. My husband and I went on a hiking trip in the mountains this summer. Amazing, wonderful, awe inspiring. As a writer I should be able to come up with the right words for the experience but words are too small for what we saw and did. We hiked up mountains and saw vistas that are reserved for eagles and mountain goats (which we also saw). I went up mountainsides that I would never have dared hike up before. I have a fear of heights and my husband has tried to take me places that I'm not comfortable and suffered the consequences. (panic, fear and anger - not a pretty combination). In fact, even on this trip, I turned around on the hike we did on the first day because I was getting well past my comfort zone in terms of scaling heights. But on the second day that all changed. The second day my brother and sister in law decided to take their four year old grandson along on a hike we were going to do. I figured I would go along because, hey, how hard could a hike be that a four year old can go on. Actually, I found out, very hard. Very scary. And challenging. Thankfully my husband was along to pack along the four year old through the hard stuff but as for me, I had to go it alone. There were times I was genuinely frightened and wondering what I had gotten myself in to. However, what kept me going was the fact that a little four year old boy so easily marched along and then got help during the hard parts. I know there could be some type of metaphor here - when we can't go it alone God carries us - and that metaphor is true. But what I also learned is that fear is really subjective. I knew so much about what could happen if I fell down. If I made one wrong step. If I got too dizzy. That little boy just walked along supremely confident that his grandparents would not lead him wrong as he walked along paths normally reserved for mountain goats along the edge of a mountain that fell away for over a thousand feet. He just kept on going. (though I have to say I was wondering at their expectations of the little lad ). But he did it. And with him in front of me, could I do any less? Nope. And I pushed myself well beyond my comfort zone all because I didn't want to say that a four year old went where I didn't dare. Shame is a great motivator at times. So is guilt. And fear. Thanks to those motivators, though, I went places I would never dared go and saw things I would never have seen had I stayed safely in camp. So I was glad he came along. If only to push me past my comfort zone with the prod of shame.


Sheila Deeth said...

I remember that feeling, hiking with a friend's kids in Utah once.

Lyn Cote said...

Don't try to hide who's writing the blog! I barely recognized you in the photo!
Great analogy.