Through or Around?

On Saturday, Jason, the dogs, and I hiked to the top of Little Pinnacle Mountain. I have news for you: Little Pinnacle Mountain is NOT so little. Wow, it was a tough climb, but the views (especially with the fall foliage) were well worth it. It was a gorgeous day, and the colors were simply indescribable!

As we began, we knew that Mitch would have no trouble with the hike. In fact, we were pretty sure he would leave us in his dust (which is precisely what happened). We were, however, a little concerned about Tippy making the trek. After all, she is going on ten years old and has some arthritis in her back legs. But we decided to give it a try, and if it looked like she was struggling, we would just turn back.

She did surprisingly well. She was tired and couldn't even come close to keeping up with Mitch (who could?), but she seemed to have something to prove. She was determined to do the hike and to do it with as little help as possible.

There were several places where she just had to have help (me too). There were steps that were waist high on me, so obviously, these were beyond her ability. Jason would give her a boost, and she would continue on her way. The funny thing was watching her try to work her way around some of the obstacles. She would go so far off to get around something that she would be completely off the trail and usually headed in the wrong direction. Eventually, we'd have to get her back on the trail and help her around the initial obstacle. So while she thought she was finding a better way around, she was actually just making more work for herself.

After several times of this, Jason laughed and commented, "She would never be able to stay on a trail if she were by herself. She goes so far off track to avoid the obstacles that she ends up going the wrong direction. She'd find herself lost within a matter of minutes."

His comment hit home with me. How often do I do the same thing? Instead of allowing God to help me through or over the obstacles of life, I seek my own way around them. As a result, I find myself lost, confused, and heading in the wrong direction. The really bad part is that, like Tippy, I'm just making extra work for myself because in the end, I have to face the obstacle again. I didn't avoid it. I just prolonged my agony.

There are some obstacles in life that we just can't avoid, so we have two options. We can allow God to strengthen us and "give us a boost" to overcome those obstacles, or we can wander around in the darkness searching for a way around the obstacle. By the midpoint of the hike, Tippy had figured out which way is better. When will we?