The Hard Way

As some of you know, I’ve recently developed a fascination with waterfalls. And hiking. And not getting killed while hiking to pursue a waterfall. On my trip to Colorado, I almost died falling off a mountain, trying to find Mystic Falls.

Okay, so maybe I didn’t almost die, but I could have. I climbed a nearly-flat mountain wall. It was treacherous. It was harrowing. I even tore my blue jeans.

We followed trails into the valley, and they led us to dead ends. We climbed back up and followed more trails. We bushwhacked our way through thick pines, limbs slapping against our legs and faces. We could feel rocks shift under our feet, could hear them roll behind us, click-clicking hundreds of feet into the canyon below. One false move, and those rocks could have been us.


It was a difficult climb, but we got there. The falls took our breaths away. We made it! The journey was hard, but oh. So worth it. I know, I know. If you read my article last week, you’ve heard all this.

But I didn’t tell you about our trip back to the car.


As we left the waterfall, Rick said, “What’s that?”

“What’s what?” I asked.

“That.” He pointed to a clearing ahead. Like true adventurers, we decided to investigate.

It was a road.

Not a trail. An actual road, with recent tire tracks and everything.

Yeah. All that, and we could have driven right up to the top of the falls.

Boy, did we feel . . . well, never mind. Let’s just say the trip down was much easier than the trip up.

Now, I’m all for taking the high (or hard) road. Most of the time, it’s worth it. In this case, it was definitely worth the adventure and the gorgeous landscape and the sense of pride in pressing on and reaching a goal. But sometimes, we do things the hard way out of rebellion or stubborn will or plain stupidity, when the easy way is staring us in the face. You know what I’m talking about.

We don’t want to be nice to our mean boss. So we buck and rebel and make life even more miserable for ourselves. Or we don’t want to go to college or eat healthier or whatever it is that would make our lives so much more pleasant. We choose the difficult path, when we could have chosen the smooth road.

Although our mountain adventure was fun-packed and filled with excitement, it could have been peaceful and relaxing. If we had just taken a little more time to investigate, we could have walked on Easy Street instead of Wuthering Heights.

God’s way takes a little extra effort in the beginning, but it always leads us to a smoother road. The cool thing is, no matter how far off His path we find ourselves, if we call to Him, He will always clear the way for us to come back home.

The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth,” Isaiah 26:7.

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