Beyond thrilled that my first real hike was the Beach Hike, I happily climbed out of the van and headed for the beach. I had a nice chat with Logan, army reservist and hike guide at my pace, as I made my way through the sand, and got to see some seals on rocks and pelicans taking off in flight and a really neat sandcastle. Sweet.
Then there was the matter of the mountain. Should have known it was coming since this was a beach hike, not a beach walk. Which was fine with me as I was looking forward to the photo ops. Caught up with Tina and we hit the trail.
|Note the nice high fence. This will be relevant later.|
Happily snapping photos as we cruised up the trail, I was suddenly asked by Tina, "Are you afraid of heights?" Well, come to think of it, I am. I am recovering from a fear of flying and get woozy looking out the windows of skyscrapers. And that's when I'm INSIDE. Suddenly, I realized why she had asked. The safe little fenced in, vegetated trail had become a narrow path of rock and sand literally on the edge of what I will call a cliff (cuz that's what it was.) Before the fear hit me I snapped this photo:
Note the little wire in the photo? That was basically the life/death line. Stay to the left, live. Fall to the right, die. I was amazed at how little protection there really was from hurling over the edge. And given that the trail was rocky and sandy all at once, it just didn't seem safe. I couldn't believe this was actually...well...legal. Two fear-driven thoughts entered my mind:
"So that's why they made me sign a waiver!" and "I hope my life insurance is up to date."
After this pic was snapped there was less green stuff and more rock stuff. I told Tina I couldn't do it and she held my hand. I told her I was afraid of tripping and falling over the edge, and she said "If anything I'll go first" which, given the fact that she weighs about 60 pounds less than me, did not make sense in the physics world. She'd actually come down with me. Anyway, she also said "I gotta make dinner for my family tonight so we'll be fine" which I took as oddly comforting (a pilot had once told me the same line when I was afraid to get on his plane.)
So I went very slowly, holding her hand, making sure my feet stayed on the sure footing of the rock instead of the unsteady, shifting sand.
Ah, hello there, Matthew 7:24-27:
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
The power of it hit me all at once - holding Tina's hand and thinking how many times the Father has held my hand when I tried to regain my footing and navigate a tough trail; seeing what came afer I faced and got through my moment of fear, trusting God. Beauty.
So great is the reward when we stand on the solid rock and trust that we'll be OK. I was overcome by profound, spiritual love today as I delighted in God's handiwork from a very privileged vantage point.
Now, I did climb down an alternate route (I'm saved, not stupid!) but only after we got to the other side and went down to the beach using these:
|and what went down had to come back up. Brutal!|
|Solid Rock (-:|