Friday, July 9, 2010

Stop and smell the roses

(This the third post of three in a series of reflections on life and hiking.)

Did you know that I spend about 95% of my time staring at the ground when I hike in the mountains? This is humorous when you consider Yosemite is one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth, but I spend hours hiking miles with my eyes fixed on the ground.

Because the trails are usually boulders, granite stairs, up and down, and very twisty, it's mandatory I keep my eyes looking down. It's called survival. If I look up while I'm hiking, I'm inviting disaster. Trust me, been there, done that. So it's necessary to stop from time to time, look around, and appreciate the amazing scenery.

I was heading down the trail this afternoon totally focused on the ground before me, concentrating on keeping my footing sure. For some reason I stopped and looked up. And I laughed. To my left was a spectacular panorama. The mountains rose from the green carpeted forest like granite sentries watching over creation. This magnificent blessing was in plain sight, but I had failed to see it because my eyes were fixed on the dusty trail. My focus was on the task at hand and not on the blessings around me.

That's hiking and that's life. So often I walk through life totally focused on the task at hand while I miss seeing God's incredible blessings all around me. When I hike, I need to remind myself to stop and smell the roses, to stop and see God's handiwork all around me. Maybe I should do the same thing in life.

Excuse me now, I've got some roses to sniff.

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