A couple weekends ago the weather was gorgeous and the mountains were calling. So, we loaded up our gear for a day-trip of hiking and hammocking (if that’s even a word!). The kids and I had received Camelbak day-trip bags for Christmas and we were excited to try them out!
We began our day at Tallulah Gorge and hiked the North & South Rim Trails, which involved several steps, a suspension bridge, and beautiful views into the gorge.
Upon completing climbing the stairs out of the gorge, there were benches to stop and catch your breath, and take a little break. On one bench was a fellow mom with what appeared to be her teenage children and their friends. They were stopped and finishing off what was left in their water bottles, which was good, since the trail was almost complete.
As we passed them, the mom pointed to our Camelbaks, and said, “that’s exactly what we need”.
Being excited about our new gifts, and already thinking about how much I loved them, I stopped, turned back, and said, “Oh yes, these are awesome! We got them for Christmas and are loving them.”
She didn’t really respond at all, so I just kind-of kept walking on.
My husband, said to me, “And now she’s saying, ‘Did I really just say that outloud?'”.
I said, “What?! Did she really say that?”
With a smirk, he said, “No, but she’s probably thinking it.”
At this point, my children chime in, and inform me that I talk to everyone, and that I find ways to strike up conversations with random people around us. They were telling me this in such a manner as if I didn’t already know this; as if this was a news flash for me.
I told them, “Um, yeah! Of course I do! How would I ever open the door with anyone to share about Jesus if I don’t even start a conversation? I could’ve totally asked that group if they wanted to know about The Living Water and how to never thirst again!”.
This is where you need to insert the title of this blog—“Oh mom!”—(with eyes rolling).
Please note that it was a playful banter with my family and we were all smiles!
As we approached the next overlook of the gorge, our view looked similar to this:
Still being part playful with my family, I said, “See guys?! This view is like life…that water above the falls is calm and smooth, and has no idea about the rapids about to come. The rapids are rough, and the water could take many different paths over the jagged rocks, but notice that after the rapids, the water is calm again. It’s just like God’s promise to lead us beside still waters.”
Insert more playful eye rolls here.
I told them to not be nay-sayers–that if I didn’t see all these fingerprints of God around me, that I would have noting to write about, nothing to share. To which my husband replied, “that’s why I’m not saying a word”. He’s such a smart man, isn’t he?
Our hike was awesome and we had a great time. Before calling our day in the mountains done, we sought out a quiet place to try out our hammocks.
Here is a picture of where we ended up, in Tate City:
While exploring here, Brandon (my hubby) said, “Hey guys, look at this big rock, it is like the rock of God, being our foundation.”
We laughed, continuing our playful banter. But deep down, my soul smiled. As much as they rib me, and laugh with me, it’s all sinking in. In fact, I had that confirmed the next morning at church.
I had to read the scripture passage that next morning during the worship service. As much as I LOVE sharing God’s Word in front of people, I still get a little nervous each time I do. My daughter picked up on this and whispered to me to ask if I was okay. I told her that I was fine, but just a bit nervous.
She told me, “Mom, don’t be nervous. You teach a room full of people every Sunday. You love to share about God. And yesterday?…when you talked to that lady?…it didn’t bother me. I’m proud of you for trying to find ways to talk to people. You’ll do just fine.”
To which, my soul smiled again.
Nowadays, with everyone looking down at their smartphones all the time, it’s harder to strike up conversations with people than it was before. However, with recent events around me, I’ve learned that talking with people, finding out about them, sharing Jesus, is so important. Not just with strangers, but with people that we encounter day in, and day out. I’ve learned that you never truly know how someone is really doing deep down.
But you know what? I know someone who DOES know. Therefore, I’ll be praying all the more for guidance from my Lord to show me those who need a hug, a conversation, a listening ear, a friend.
Because living on this earth means that rapids WILL come. So, I will wait for the ONE who will lead me beside the still waters once again, and know that He’s there in the rapids with us.
“The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Lord, make me know Your ways. Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me. Please reveal to me those around me to whom You would have me share with. For this, O Lord, is what I am here for, to serve You only, and to share the knowledge of Your saving grace with others whom do not know. Renew in me each morning the urgency of sharing You with others. The hope that we, as Your disciples, have is so awesome, and worthy of sharing. It would be a travesty to keep it to ourselves. Amen.