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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Turn Back!

Years ago, as newbies to Colorado, Bruce and I took a May hike above Bear Lake. We should have waited at least until June. Till most of the snow melted and rushed down the mountains to fill the hundred of swollen streams and rivers that water the Front Range.
But you know how it is. After a winter and spring shut in, your senses ache to touch, feel, taste, smell the glory of the mountains.
We passed Bear Lake, took the right fork --the one that leads to Bierstadt --and trudged uphill.
At that point the snow wasn't too bad. Maybe about a foot. We wore good boots and an adventurous spirit.
As Bruce and I hiked to higher elevations the depth of the snow increased. (That should have been our first warning that we should turn around.)
At Bear Lake, we'd seen new spring undergrowth. Now, all was buried by snow. (Second warning.)
We confidently struck off down our "trail" between a corridor of spruce. At each step I sank up to my hips in the soft stuff. I tried to pull my leg out, lost my balance and fell over onto my back.
It didn't hurt and I lay there, laughing at how funny I must have looked with my leg still buried somewhere underneath me.
If you're a hiker, you know that these mountain trails are marked with little metal tabs nailed into tree trunks about fifteen feet up. That way, even when the trial is buried in snow, you can still stick to the trail.
Lying there, looking up, it dawned on me that I couldn't see any metal tabs. . . not for a long way.
I sat up, feeling the first little tinglings of panic in my stomach. "Bruce, I don't think we're on the trail anymore."
Visions of our frozen bodies being discovered weeks later by back-packers forced me onto my feet. Fear hammered in my chest.
Stupidly, for about fifty more yards, we surged forward, still looking for the trail.
"Stop. Let's retrace our tracks,"Bruce called out. "We can't have gotten too far off."
One hundred yards back, we spied a metal tab. Relief flooded my stomach. We would not die that day.
As we drove back home later that day. I remarked how that snowy trail was just like life: if you ignore the warning signs --in your marriage, your children, your spiritual life, your job, etc. -- and keep pushing on, pretty soon you're in trouble.

Stop! Retrace your tracks. Find out where you got off the trail and get back on the right path.

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