No Turning Back

No one has EVER used the word “athletic” to describe me. God gave me some wonderful gifts, but none of them made me graceful or quick on my feet or able to catch a ball. I have accepted that fact. However, I do like to get out and spend some time on a trail walking. Some people call it hiking.  I’m not sure if what I do qualifies as hiking. I usually like to go alone.  No one makes fun of me that way, I don’t hold anyone up, and I can take 10 pictures of the same tree with 8 different settings if I want to.  I am slow, I am clumsy and at times I am tentative because I have a HORRID fear of falling.

Today was the perfect day to get out and commune with nature and our Creator. I needed some head-cleansing time, so I decided to take off to the mountains and do a little hike. I chose something easy because it had been a little while since I had been on a trail. I THOUGHT I chose this nice little 1.5 mile trail that was relatively flat and somewhat of a mix between paved and gravel. On my drive, I had visions of beautiful wildflowers and birds frolicking in the trees while I enjoyed my nice little “walk.”  Like something out of Snow White, I guess!

I quickly realized that my little trail, while not the difficulty of one of the trails to LeConte, was also not the little walking trail I had hoped for. In places it was steep, there were lots of tree roots to trip over, and while I did hear birds singing, there was not a single wildflower anywhere in sight!

I continued on, though, because it was quite beautiful and quiet and I was the only perFile May 02, 6 55 39 PMson on the trail.  Halfway through my adventure, I came across a rather large maple tree that had recently fallen across the trail. It was completely blocking the path.  You couldn’t go around it and you couldn’t go under it.  I had two choices.  Climb over the trunk and large branch or turn around and go back. I knew what was behind me. It was pretty. I had enjoyed it very much. I had no idea what was on the other side of that tree on the trail.  Wildflowers? Frolicking birds? A nice stream or waterfall? But it was a risk for this non-athletic, somewhat clumsy, tentative person to climb over that tree. (It was bigger than it looks in the picture.) If I fell or gashed my leg open or something like that, I was alone. What would I do? It was risk.

I climbed over the tree.

I’m glad there was no one there to see it.  I’m sure it wasn’t pretty.  Yes, I got a little scratched up and a little dirty, but I got to see the other side of the trail, and it was beautiful.

As I continued on the path, tears started streaming down my face at the realization God had just given me.  You see, in the last 6 weeks or so there has been more than one large tree that has fallen across the path of my life and blocked the road. I have been trying to figure out how on earth I am going to get past the grief and heartache and live with the fear of the unknown. My cries to God as of late have been of questions and whys. God, I knew that path.  I’ve been on it before. I knew the way. And we were doing good things together.  Why does it have to change?  In the gentle breeze and the beautiful waterfall that was in front of me, God said, give me your hand, give me your heart, trust me, and let’s find out what’s on the other side of that tree.

Selah………

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About Tina Swaggerty Collins

Tina currently serves on staff at Ball Camp Baptist Church. A music graduate of Carson-Newman College, Tina has been active in church music ministry for over 30 years and is an ordained minister. She is the mother to two amazing grown children, who still allow her to be a nurturing mom from time to time. Her blog is an invitation to step into her life as a mom, a minister and a follower.
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