Sunday, June 19, 2022

We All Need Toughness

Hello, friends. I hope you and your family are well and enjoying this spring-like day. And "Happy Father's Day" to all you dads out there. I hope your day has been very special.

As I sit here writing this, my quads are burning. Yesterday, as a Father's Day present, I gave myself the gift of climbing to the top of Tinker Cliffs in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest between Roanoke and Covington, VA. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. When I got to the parking lot, it was almost full. I think I got the next-to-the-last spot. 

Then the climb began. The ascent was relentless. Patience was the word of the day. 

It was a never-ending trek over rocks and roots. 

And did I mention that I HATE stairs? 

Finally, you reach a saddle in the mountain on the AT. Only a half mile to go but it's all uphill. 

Finally you reach the summit and its breathtaking vistas. 

It was only a short rock scramble to the top of the cliffs. I am proud of that accomplishment! 

I meditated on the beauty of God's creation and then headed down. Arriving at the parking lot, I was wasted. I hurt a lot and the heat was about to get to me. 

To give you some perspective, my pace was only about 2 miles per hour. Like I said, hiking a really challenging trail takes patience. I'm not here to tell you how rocky and steep the trail was. You have to be there and experience it firsthand to really understand how tough it was. 

But when you do something hard and you are finally done, there is no feeling like it in the world. It is an outpouring of emotion, relief, and gratitude to the One who made it possible. After all, easy is not the point or goal of life. I so badly want my students to understand that. Doing hard things will make you tougher. We need that toughness on a hike, yes, but also in our daily lives and in our parenting. 

Hope you had some great adventures this weekend!