Here was my plan. Take a few young men into the wilderness for an adventure and teach them how to be silent before God there. Sounds easy enough, except for one word. Adventure. The real ones are more than what you bargain for and never what you plan.
Four students took up the challenge to go out with me, along with one dad. We entered the Citico Creek Wilderness area and began the adventure earlier this week. But just five hours into it, we had already had our share: getting drenched in a thunderstorm, nearly being hit by lightning, losing our way on the trail, and struggling get to the campsite before dark. I was close to panic at times.
But we made it through that day and awoke to the picture at your right. The campsite is a bit under 5000 ft. in elevation, so we are looking down on almost everything around us.
That morning I realized that we needed to change the loop I had originally planned. It was going to be too taxing for everyone. So we decided to stay at this same campsite rather than move on. That morning was spent hiking to the
Hangover, a 200 ft. precipitous drop with a panoramic vista. Here we spent some time in silence before God, thinking through what we needed to receive from the Father in the wilderness. That afternoon was spent exploring another trail down the mountain.
The final day was spent hiking out. We stopped on a bald mountain for a second time of silence before God, focusing on what we needed to take back from our experience together.
The adventure ended with a trip to some of the largest trees left in Eastern N. America and a well-deserved bath in a mountain river. We were able to make it out before the final part of the adventure, running into a vicious thunderstorm that blew trees and power lines down everywhere.
Here is what I know about true adventures: I like them because they bring surprise and newness into my life. But I also dislike them because they test me and ask things of me that I’m not sure I can handle.
In many ways this is just what it feels like to walk with God. He always calls us to do something that feels like a true adventure…more than what we bargain for and never what we plan!