When I reached the rock, I stopped. I knew I needed to stop. I felt so exhausted, nauseous even. I’d picked the pillbox hike and really wanted to reach the ridge. But I had reached my mental and physical limit.
I asked my friend Jill to go ahead. She’d been so encouraging and supportive. I really hate feeling like I’m holding people back. I finally convinced her that I REALLY wanted her to reach the top, which I did, and I would be OK hanging out at the rock.
Jill continued on up the trail while I settled in on the rock. Sweat poured off my face so the faint wisp of wind felt so good. I felt overheated. I sat there relishing the tiny breeze.
Finally, I’d recovered enough to look at what my sister posted on Facebook. I checked her status, then went to the homepage. Facebook asked if I wanted to post the pictures I’d taken and check in at the pillbox location—200 feet away.
What?! 200 feet? I quit 200 feet from the finish? Seriously?
On my feet, I continued up the incline. I couldn’t see the pillboxes or Jill, but 200 feet!?! The trail evened out a bit. I made good progress. I met Jill on her way back down. She said she thought the end was further than 200 feet, but that she’d loved the view from the top. She said she had time for me to reach the top and she’d reclimb the trail, too. Motivated, I continued.
The trail flattened out even further as it proceeded around the mountain. As I rounded a corner, I saw the pillbox on the side of the mountain! Infused energetically, I gravitated towards the goal.
Jill was right. The view was incredible! The pillbox sat on the edge of the mountain with 360 degree views of ocean and valleys and neighboring mountains. Jill and I took awesome selfies.
Going to the End
I’ve always been an “to the end of the road” kind of gal. I looked up the trail and saw the other pillboxes further ahead. Totally euphoric about overcoming my physical slump, I continued onward and upward, walking along the mountain ridge with Jill to the final pillbox at the top of the trail. What an amazing experience!
The whole way down the mountain, and even now, I couldn’t believe what I almost totally missed by giving up.
“And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize.”
Knowing the goal was so close motivated me to action. Instead of giving up altogether, I actually just needed to rest a moment and then I could continue.
I’d led the way up the trail, but started off at what I assumed was Jill’s pace rather than my pace. She’s much stronger physically and suggested that I set the pace. She was happy to journey with me at whatever pace I choose. I thought the pace was fine. It was actually slow for Jill and it wasn’t fine for me.
Sister Linda K. Burton warned that a “challenge to our emotional well-being might be slipping into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. We might be tempted to wonder why we are not as healthy or creative or cute or smart or … or … or. You name it and we can easily slide down that slippery slope of comparison if we are not careful.”
That day, my slippery slope came while unwittingly trying to keep up with someone else—or my perception of her. As a result, I quit the entire adventure. I’d REALLY wanted to see the ridge line, but instead convinced myself that I felt self-satisfied in giving everything I thought I had. I settled for sitting on a rock because I hiked faster than I had strength.
The Ultimate Ridge Line
A more glorious ridge line awaits. I’ve been on the path to it for as long as I can remember. It’s my ultimate goal. What a shame to quit that journey because I tried to travel it like someone else. And, even more shocking to me, what a shame to think that I thought I’d be satisfied if she went on ahead without me. I’d never be satisfied with sitting on eternal sidelines.
The Lord and I know my capacity and capability. He didn’t say it was a race against every one else. He didn’t say I had to go at someone else’s pace. He says He’ll carry the baggage holding me down. He says He’ll carry me when I’m tired.
“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”
The Lord said to be wise and not “run faster than [I have] strength.” But He also said I need to “be diligent, that thereby [I] might win the prize.” He says He’ll make up the difference in anything I lack. He says that with Him, I can reach the ridge line. And it will be glorious!
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.