When was the last time you were stunned…and speechless?

It happened this weekend sitting in the chair in our living room. I had just picked up the latest Backpacker magazine and was thumbing through it. I landed on a page that stopped my heart when I saw it. I was stunned…and speechless. Here’s what happened.

I have been planning for awhile to take a group of younger and older men backpacking this summer. It’s what I love to do, and I love to have others join me on the adventures. For it’s not only a physical challenge. It’s a spiritual one also. I always love to see what God has for us out in the wilderness, how he will help us or speak to us.

But underneath all of my leadership bravado lurks a lot of fear. I have to push it back in so many areas of my life. The same is true here. I have felt a current of fear over backpacking this whole summer. Pictures of disaster keep playing in my mind. Worst case scenarios. No basis to them at all, just irrational. I have given these to the Father over and over, and still the fear would plague me at times.

That was the setting for what happened when I opened the magazine.  Because what I stopped on was a full-color spread of a wilderness hike. Not just any wilderness hike. It was almost the exact hike I have been planning to take with the men this summer, down to the same trailhead and parking area. To make it more wonderful, water and waterfalls were noted that I didn’t even know about. It’s a place no one has ever heard about when I mention it to them. Yet here it was in a nationally distributed magazine published near my date of departure.

I was stunned, speechless. I know my Father gave this to me as a comfort and a guide. I know that he knows my desires to lead and to be brave. He also knows the fear that stalks me at times. It was something given just to me, to let me know that he cares for me and that he will be with me on the trip.

As I told the story to to my family last night at the dinner table, Heidi said, “It was the Lord’s gift to you.”

So how has the Father surprised you with his good gifts recently?


PS. Because of vacation schedules, I will be posting this blog just once a week until the summer ends.

About Coach D

I have been a teacher and a coach for many years. My real name is Bill Delvaux, but my students call me Coach D, hence the user name. This blog is about the journey into the unknown I am walking and the landmarks I am navigating along the way. The destination: becoming who I really am as a man. I invite you to join me by reading along every Monday and Thursday.
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2 Responses to When was the last time you were stunned…and speechless?

  1. Lori Kelley says:

    We sometimes overlook these suble gifts!
    Nice reminder!
    I would love for my family to go backpacking together but we are amateurs. Do you have any ideas on a 1st semi easy starter trip? I feel like I’m ready for the big stuff but not sure we all are.
    I have always wanted to climb Mt LaConte but it’s so hard to book!

    • Coach D says:

      A good place to start, Lori, is with the Savage Gulf Natural Area. It’s near Monteagle, so it’s close. And it’s incredibly beautiful. You can just plan a day hike. Or you can do an overnight inside the park or right next to the park headquarters near Stonedoor. Whatever you do, start out easy and see if everyone likes it. Better everyone wanting more than less!

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