Psalm 25:4 “Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow”
As I get older I find that I am getting braver. I was always inquisitive but usually too timid to actually try anything that seemed dangerous. With a fear of the dark after way too many horror movies as a teenager, I have never been fully convinced that monsters don’t dwell in those hidden crevices just outside of our view. So the thought of going underground or into a dark place just never really brought out any thoughts of “let’s do this!”
On a recent trip to Cloudland Canyon Georgia I saw a flyer for a wild cave tour. Not the touristy fun of something like Ruby Falls but a knee pad, helmet wearing, get dirty and squeeze through on my belly kind of tour. With two of my sons in tow (for protection) I signed up. We arrived early the next morning to meet our guide. A petite girl with neon pink hair and an impressive background of search & rescue and outdoor adventuring, Amy had an infectious laugh and a lot of patience. And so it was with some nervousness that I placed my life into her, what seemed to me, very youthful hands.
After a 40 foot descent that involved lots of slipping and sliding into what appeared to be a dark abyss, we waved goodbye to daylight. The lights on our helmets gave an eerie glow to a fascinating world of underground beauty. It was about halfway through, as I was squeezing (think lots of grandma style wiggling) my way through a crevice that I realized I was actually having fun. I did not care about the dark shadows around me. I did not worry that I might become lost and never see my family again. I slogged through underground streams without even thinking about what creatures lurked around my feet.
After 2 hours we emerged back into the daylight, victoriously conquering what had previously been an unknown. Yet here I was, arms raised in victory, celebrating with my sons an event that will stay with me for quite a while. And all because I trusted in our guide….someone who knew the paths we should follow, someone who had made the trip before, someone who was confident in their ability but still mindful of all the precautions that should be taken.
I have learned (and am still learning) to not judge people by their appearance. Truthfully I wondered just how safe I was going to be. Yet, because I trusted her knowledge, because I followed her instead of trying to lead, because I listened instead of talked, I was able to experience an adventure in this journey called my life. And is that not what it is all about? Learning from those who have gone before? Not repeating the mistakes others have already made? Letting someone show us what we might have missed if we had fearfully tried it on our own?
Dearest Father God, Thank You for teaching me to take risks. Thank You for teaching me to trust. Thank You for the wisdom to seek out those who have gone before and learn from them. Thank You for the adventures that I experience. You have made such a perfectly wonderful world. Thank You for making everyone different and for showing me that normal is just a word in the dictionary. Let me see the world with new eyes and hear with new ears. Let me never pass up a chance to point out that it was You who created this magnificent place we live. In the Name of Christ Jesus, Amen
Trip was with Amy from Georgia Girl Guides in Cloudland Canyon State Park, Georgia (check out their photo gallery)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.