Shortcuts Aren’t Always Short

Shortcuts aren’t always short…I was hiking with some experienced hikers in the mountains of North Carolina. We were on a trail that led across the top of the ridges. We stopped for a break and I noticed that it would be shorter distance to drop off the side of the trail and cross over through a ravine to where we were going for the day. My friends advised me not to, but I told them I would meet them on the other side. It started out okay, but when I got into the rhododendron thicket ( a large concentrated area of evergreen type bush-trees) it was really tough. At one point, I was crawling on my hands and knees with my backpack getting stuck every few feet.I sat there for a few minutes realizing want a dumb, stupid mistake I had made trying this as a short cut.Trying to think positive, I thought I was probably sitting where no person had ever been before…then I look down and saw an old chewing gum wrapper! Oh well, so much for nice thoughts. I finally reach my destination with my torn backpack and flannel shirt, scratches on my face, and leaves stuck in my hiking boots. My friends greeted me with laughter and asked me how I liked my “short cut”.
Sometimes, we all have days like that. We think we know best and we don’t; but we go ahead inspite of the wisdom of others who warn us. Then, we find ourselves in a mess. We need to learn from our mistakes and realize that we aren’t the center of the universe and more knowledgeable than wikipedia. It keeps us humble and that’s a good thing. I have learned to laugh at myself but also to learn from others and not just assume I know it all. I think God planned it that way, so we would trust in Him and to value other people. We aren’t meant to fly solo through life, we really do need each other. 
Don Williams has said …“The Road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from our journey, not our destinations.” Trust me, I learned a lot from my hiking friends and I thankful that they didn’t leave this bear in the mountains that day. Regardless of what situations you encounter this week, remember the Lord is there to help you. One of my favorite Bible verses is “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I” (Isaiah 61:2 ). Let Him lead you to a higher place. 


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