I have been walking a particular path for almost 16 months. In March of 2016, I received a measure of healing in my knee, which needs to be replaced. My life changed for the better. I now walk, on average, 14-17 miles a week. Not too shabby considering I haven’t been able to stand, much less walk, for any length of time on that knee prior to its healing.
Over the last 16 months, I have been surprised by what captures my attention on the walking trail. On an excursion about 9 months ago, I noticed a bend in the path I hadn’t seen before. This week I noticed the inclines on the track began earlier than I had realized. I walk backwards on these sections. It’s great for balance and exercises a totally different set of muscles. Plus it burns tons (slight exaggeration) more calories than forward walking. So I seek to begin the turnaround in my walk where the rise in the path begins. I discovered I have been listening to my breathing to judge when to change my mode of walking, rather than observing the road itself. Consequently, my backwards walking has markedly increased … as have my thoughts on ascent.
Ascension is not for the faint of heart. It takes endurance, pushing through pain and heavy breathing and consistency. There’s a rhythm to it… putting one foot in front to the other. Or, in my case, behind me. Rising to the crest on the path of one’s journey is as unique as the gait of the individual walking it. Not all ascents are the same. Some are steep and are happened upon suddenly. These rises can leave one startled and disoriented. Others are low in grade and deceptively long in reaching their peak. Low slow-to-rise grades can leave one confused and riddled with doubt about their ability to achieve the end so readily in sight. One can second guess themselves concerning whether they should have even started their ascent. These inclines also seem to go on and on and on… Each of these thoughts can be derailing. Slivers of pebbles of unforgiveness, bitterness, loss of hope or joy, false pride, etc. can also be derailing. Be prepared to get those out from around the feet and in between the toes ASAP.
Ascension requires a bit of a visionary view, for the crest always seems be on the horizon. It is possible to be so focused on the achievement of the goal that the process is overlooked. Oh, the things we miss when we attempt to blaze past this mile marker on the trail. Often, the sweet surprises on the way up are the sole reason for our ascent.
As I have journeyed on this passage way for the past 16 months, I have received clarification on a few things. (Many more are awaiting their epiphanies.) Some peaks on this beaten path called life will be attained this side of heaven. Some will not. Hence the need for a long-term perspective. So, don’t get tired of doing good. At the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up (Galatians 6:9). Stay the course.