Friday, November 09, 2012
Recently I hiked up a 3 mile trail during a snow storm casued by the effects of Hurricane Sandy. The incline was steep and slick as I hiked up 1700 feet to the 3800 summit. When I started the sky was blue with few clouds and a steady snow was falling. As I reached the summit the weather had changed drastically. Clouds rolled in, the wind began to howl and the temperature dropped. At the summit there is an overlook that on a clear day you can see the mountains and over into Asheville. But today it resembled a winter blizzard with a wet snow falling and the wind gusting. I couldn't see 10 feet infront of me. Rime ice formed on tree limbs and began to freeze sideways. It was a surreal scene.
Earlier I had been running some errands and as I passed by the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove, I noticed the rime ice on the ridge above the Cove. So I made the decision to climb the 3 mile accent and get some pictures. I got to the house and began to change clothes. A friend of mine who works for the Buncombe County Rescue Squad has always said "cotton kills", meaning if you get wet cotton is not the fabric to be wearing in a freezing, wet-snowy environment. Since this hike would probably take a few hours I wanted to be prepared.
With that in mind I put on a layer of under armour and a layer of hiking pants, wool socks, Ariat Terrains then a shirt, vest and top coat finally my beaver cowboy hat and glasses. I was ready. Loaded my day pack with water, snacks and camera. Once I got going on the trail it was obvious that this was going to be a challenge for me. The trail was deep with snow and slick. There was a layer of fallen leaves on top of the road and a couple of inches of snow on top of that not to mention a 7 to 10 percent grade all the way to the top. As I continued up the trail my legs began to burn yet I wasn't going to stop. I'm about 30 pounds shy of my ideal weight. The summit was my goal and a 6 mile round trip hike to complete before it gets dark.
So what's the point to all this? At the top of the summit the wind gusts were buffeting me and the icy snow bit at my face. It was intense, all the layers I had put on earlier paid off. A little prior planning and good advice from a trusted friend paid of in dividends despite my physical condition. I took some time to hear Gods voice in all this caious.
On top of the Summit this is what came to mind: 2 Peter 1:18 And we heard this voice when it came from heaven while we were with Him on the holy mountain.
As I came back down the weather began to break. At the mile and a half marker the snow had melted and there was no real sign of the winter storm that had been there just a couple of hours earlier. The fall leaves covered the ground where a couple of inches of snow had been. Yet on the summit above me the wind and snow still continued.
There are many storms we will experience in our lives yet one thing remains true God is amoung it all, the tempest and the calm. Jesus spoke to the wind and waves and the men accompaining him in the boat were amazed at the authority with which Christ had over the elements on that stormy evening. Jesus has the ability to calm the storms we experience. But in order for Him to work in our life we must prepare. In the same I had to make decisions about what to wear and what to carry on the trail in order to stay healthy for the entire hike.
You can prepare your life right now. Ask Jesus to come into your life right now, ask Him to forgive you of your sins and commit your life at this moment to make Christ first in your life. Next tell a trusted friend that goes to church or talk to a pastor and tell them of your decision today, don't put it off. You can even email us here at Cowboy Church and we will send you information that will help you in your walk with Christ. Begin to read the Bible, Gods word, it will tell you how to live a life full of victory and strength for your everyday life.
Knowing how to hike a trail is very different from actually going out and putting your feet to the path. God has a plan for your life. It's up to you to take the first step. Being prepared will help give you the knowledge and ability to weather what ever comes your way.