Hiking In Winter

Lugging our suitcases and weighed down by winter, Kevin and I high-tailed it out of the house a couple of weeks ago, down to the flatlands of Colorado Springs. Cabin fever had me by the throat, and I was itching to hike in the great outdoors. Surely warmer weather had come to our lower altitudes! Arriving late in the day, we hustled our bags into the room, drew back the drapes, and drew in our breath. Even for jaded mountain-dwellers, the view was spectacular. We had come to the Garden of the Gods.

Here, camels and castles of red sandstone rock rise sharply from the valley below. This desert-like fantasy stands directly in front of massive Pike’s Peak, her icy-white summit scraping open the sky. Her purple mountain’s majesty may have been covered with snow, but the park at her base offered hiking year-round. The next day called for breezy sunshine, highs in the forties, no forecast of snow. Obviously, a great day for a hike!

As I slept, I heard the wind rise. It started like a quiet hug, a welcoming embrace blowing down from the hills. By morning it was like an elephant on the loose, shaking the windows and buffeting the walls as it rampaged across the valley. But, we were here. The sun was out so we packed our bags and set off to walk among the red sandstone giants. I had forgotten what it’s like to hike in the winter.

It was cold. And dry. So dry my fingertips cracked and my lips shriveled into a couple of prunes. My hair whipped my face and grit coated the rest. We toughed it out for a couple of hours, bracing ourselves when gusts turned to gales. It didn’t take long to figure out why our fancy resort was practically giving rooms away. Everyone else was smart enough to know that March is still winter in Colorado, no matter what part of the state you are in. There’s just no rushing spring.

There’s just no rushing God, either.

The weeks and months and sometimes years I’ve waited for an answer to prayer can feel like the winter that never ends. One day, impatience sneaks up behind me. It grabs me by the throat, drags my backpack out of storage, and hands me a list of things to do. I gear up, watch the forecast, and strike out on my own. Going somewhere is better than going nowhere, right?

Probably not.

Waiting for spring is like waiting for God. They will both show up in their appointed time. Hiking in winter has its share of adventure, but there’s snow in the shadows and ice on the rocks. When the breezes blow warm and winter has passed, camels and castles of red sandstone rock will welcome us back to the great outdoors. God will call me outside and I’ll follow His lead. It is His garden, after all.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the LordPsalm 27:14 NIV

©2012 Rachel Ophoff, Coconut Mountain Communications LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Please visit my website at http://www.friendshipshipwithjesus.com

One comment

  1. julie says:

    Thank you so much for your words and insights. The Lord has blessed you and I thank you for sharing your gift. I get impatient, too, and this spoke to me. Bless you.

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