A Brilliant Idea

I had a brilliant idea. Hannah wouldn’t commit to help me until I told her what it was. She knows my crazy ideas are not always safe. Today, I just couldn’t stay inside any longer. It is the fall light…soft, and warm. The lake was calling me. My idea was to drive two cars, one to the beach parking lot, and the other at the regular parking lot at Unicoi Lake. That way, I could walk about a mile of the trail without being stranded if my leg didn’t cooperate, rather than the whole 2.5. Told you it was brilliant. With Hannah and Bella on board, we made our car drop, and stepped onto my old friend, the lake trail. Down the first hill, I noticed the pre-surgery knee pain I have lived with for over a year was gone, and though my leg doesn’t bend well, it was able to manage. I found my cadence and settled into my regular routine only slower, while Hannah kept Bella’s leash from getting tangled in my walking sticks. Her job was much harder than mine.
After about five minutes, I lifted my head and took in the day, breathing in the cool, crisp air. The lake shown, sparkling like diamonds in the fall sun. There was a breeze blowing my hair and I just soaked in the freedom of being in the woods again. Bella helped me out with my speed by stopping at every tree to leave her mark. Even that slowly, we made it to the beach in 25 minutes. Not bad, but I used to do the entire trail in 30 minutes, so I have a long way to go. Baby steps. Once we arrived at the beach, I realized that a brilliant idea must be thought through completely. The parking lot where my car was parked… was up. Two options, three long flights of stairs or a huge hill. I picked the hill. Half way up we realized Hannah could drive the car down further to get me. She asked for the key. Can I just say that pride always comes before a fall. In all of my brilliance, I left the keys in the other car…back in the other lot. I am not even kidding. Fortunately for us, there was a pavilion half way up the hill. Also fortunately for us, Bill and Peter happily brought an extra key and rescued their girls. All in all, a successful brilliant idea…mostly. I made the walk and my leg worked. Hurray for that. I am well on my way to my goal of the whole way around sometime in October.
The key moment of the day…the one when I heard God most clearly was when I lifted my head. I quit worrying about the path in front of me, about the dog dancing circles around me, about my leg, about the worries of life, about anything really but the moment. Lifting my head to see the beauty of the day, and hear his voice on the wind. He said, “Just lift your face to me.”
I don’t know about you, but it seems that everyone I know at the moment is under tremendous pressure from all sides. I know my head feels as if it will sink beneath the surface at any time. Let me tell you, treading water with a bum leg isn’t easy, either in reality or figuratively. Compound that with work, money, family, grief, health and any other issues and breathing becomes laborious. Getting out into nature restores my soul…always. I can deep breathe, and release the tension, but lifting my head is the action that most calms me because it returns my focus to His face. His provision. His faithfulness. His steadfastness. I am surrounded by birds that trust him for their daily survival. Trees that testify of his continual beauty in every season. And mountains, which stand strong and remind me that he cannot be moved, even in the midst of stressful circumstances. He face always turns to mine when I lift my head.

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