I recently asked my husband, “How did we get so old so fast??!!” My 74 years seem like a blur. Growing up on the farm, graduating from high school, getting married, having a family, working, going to church, watching my children mature and venture out on their own journey, enjoying grandchildren, enduring life’s hardships and enjoying life’s blessings… it’s a blur now. A pastor refers to our lifespan as a dash – the dash between the day we were born and the day we die. What resides there?
I am reminded of some falls located in Laurel Bloomery, TN, near my former home. Gentry Falls… A 2- 1/2-hour trek in and out offers a challenging but very worthwhile reward. Along with some easily accessible stretches, one must cross thirteen rock-strewn streams, climb over logs, and trudge up inclines Trekking poles are highly recommended. Two 30 ft. falls tumble over rock bluffs into a sea of rhododendron. So breathtakingly beautiful! So worth the effort to get there! However, some never experience the grandeur. They begin the trek but give up and turn back. And many have never heard of the falls!
In comparison as I look back over my dash, I remember some easily accessible stretches, many rock-strewn streams, huge logs, and unbelievable inclines. I always knew what awaited me at the end of my hike but detours sometimes seemed so appealing. I could have decided that the log was too forbidding, that the stream was too deep, that I would never attempt the incline. I could have decided to turn back to the lifestyle that was so familiar and less challenging. But in doing so, I would have missed the grandeur. The trekking poles recommended for the hike to Gentry Falls aids the hiker and makes the trip easier and safer. My dash reveals some aid as well! Not trekking polls per se, but a hand reaching down offering assistance in the rock-strewn streams, arms that carried me over the logs, strength to overcome the inclines, encouragement with every step to persevere until I reach that breathtaking, unbelievable, awe-inspiring destination where rivers of living water tumble along streets of gold… where the glory of God takes our breath away and lifts our spirits to heights never imagined.
So glad I’ve had a trekking pole! Without it (Him) my dash would look so frighteningly different! I would never be able to see the majesty that awaits!
As I walked toward Gentry Falls, I met hikers who were returning. “You are in for a real treat,” they exclaimed! “It is so worth the hike!” At 74, I can share with you, “Keep going! You are in for a real treat! It is so worth the hike! Don’t turn back! Complete your dash!” For those who haven’t heard, please give me a moment…
May my dash reveal not only my arrival but my eternal gratitude for the One that served as my trekking pole… May it also reveal the evidence of my willingness to be a trekking pole for you as you complete your dash… “not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Phil. 2:4