The Hike

“I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.” II Timothy 4:7

The taxi stopped at the junction, and I started hiking.

Fifteen minutes later, I stopped a passer-by. “Is this the road to Bissou?”

“Yes, but you can’t walk up the mountain.”

“Why not, is it blocked?”

“It’s five miles, and you are white lady. You can’t do it. Wait until next week.  You can rent a special taxi to take you.”

“I need to go there today for the clinic.”

As I tramped farther along the cow path, my leg muscles tightened from the steep climb.

Thirty minutes later, I walked around the first hairpin turn.  The view was spectacular, but I didn’t stop to enjoy it because I was on a mission.

An hour later, I was gasping for air. Was I high enough for it to lack oxygen? My chest hurt. Dizzy, I sat down on the side of the road, leaned forward, and took in slow breaths to calm my racing heart.

Hearing footsteps, I stood. I didn’t want the stranger to see me worn out. “How much farther is it to Bissou?”

“It’s five miles.”

It felt like I’d already hiked five miles. I was going straight uphill and forcing one foot ahead of the other.  I was in fairly good health and had hiked twenty miles to a village the previous month on level ground.  So I was determined to make it to the top.

But I couldn’t catch my breath.  My heart pounded.  Taking in air, I sat down on the ground again, put my head between my legs and gave up.

“Lord, I confess my arrogance to make it to the top.  I’ll never get there without your help.”

A young man came around the bend and sat down next to me. I let him see me exhausted, breathing hard and sitting in the road. As we chatted, my racing heart slowed, and I breathed easier. I looked down from the steep cliff and sighed in contentment at the gorgeous hills, covered with patches of green, orange and blue. I’d no idea such a breath-taking place existed, and there I was walking right past it.

Why couldn’t I spend a little extra time to enjoy it and thank God for the scenery and people on the way? Because I was centered on reaching the village. I didn’t want to take time to appreciate, talk to people and enjoy the view along the way.

My pride and confidence had taken over that “I” could make it to the top. It wasn’t until I’d stopped and asked God for help that He renewed my strength to finish the hike.

L   Living is hard enough, if we only focus on getting through life.

I    Involve yourself with those around you.

F    Find frequent stops to pray and thank God.

E    Enjoy the people, blessings and beauty around you each day.

“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” John 10:10b

This is my last Saturday post. From now on, I’ll be posting on Mondays, but not this coming week. If you sign-up as a follower, you’ll receive an e-mail each time I post a devotion.

Be blessed and take time,



About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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