Tuesday, March 06, 2012

adventures on high places!

I feel like my life is turning into this really awesome reality TV show or even some epic action film. Every day is more and more exciting; every day I'm a little more daring. Let's take it back about a week, for starters. Last wednesday we went on a day trip to Tintern Abbey. I've been really pumped about this specific trip the whole semester because I accidentally ran across a picture of the abbey on Pinterest one day over Christmas break and fell in love with its ruinous nature. The day I found out we were going, I was ecstatic, to say the least. We got to the abbey and had such a glorious time running through the ruins taking pictures, hollering at each other, and playing games like hide-and-go-seek and Sharks and Minnows. On that gorgeous sunny day, it was so hard not to be in a wonderful mood (and on top of it all, I was in that dream location!). After a bit of running about and being kids together, we ambled off on what we thought would be a leisurely hike. We were wrong.
We got down near the River Wye, crossed a cute (but somewhat rickety) bridge over to the mountainous side, and started up. At first it wasn't bad at all, just a slight incline. But it slowly got steeper and steeper, until we were all gasping for air and red in the face. We got to a flat part and a bit of a clearing, to what we thought was about halfway (once again, wrong.) and several people stopped there because they hadn't worn appropriate clothes or shoes for such an intense hike. The remaining 10-12 of us continued on our way, alternating turns of being 'the weak one' and taking a rest break to stretch out our calves or work up enough saliva to swallow in hopes of tricking our bodies into thinking we were hydrating ourselves. Time passed and we struggled onwards and upwards, searching for our goal at the summit of the mountain, called the Devil's Pulpit. After hiking intensely for about 40 minutes, we found it!  No one was injured, dead, or even the slightest bit harmed, and after being on a flat place for about 5 minutes, we all returned to normal heart rates and breathing rhythm. We had conquered!
Once again we found ourselves in this situation yesterday in Edinburgh (eh-din-bur-oh) when climbing Arthur's Seat. Lots of intense hiking for close to an hour, followed by relaxing at the summit and returning to the bottom (this time with several falls and a couple scrapes, but we're only the better off from them. battle scars, yeah!).
During both of these expeditions, I found myself wishing to have the feet of a deer. Or really any wild animal that was accustomed to the hidden intricacies of the land. I wanted to climb, and I got there somehow, but my big clunky walking-shoe-covered foot made it really hard to get firm footings, both up and down the mountainside. It reminded me so much of one of my favorite books, Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard, in which the main character, Much-Afraid, spends the whole book learning to trust the Good Shepherd and letting him lead her to the High Places (though he often isn't physically with her). This whole idea of being led to God's high places (His places where he calls us to sacrifice and worship) and letting him transform our clunky, earthly feet to those of a sure-footed deer, comes straight out of the Bible. I find it to be such a beautiful image! Habakkuk 3:19 says, "God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places."
I want more adventure, God. With you spiritually and with you physically like my mountain-climbing experiences. Make my feet like a hind's. Make me walk on the high places with You. 

welcome to midnight.

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