One summer, many years ago, while working for a geophysical seismic survey crew outside of Meeteetse, Wyoming, I was hiking with another woman, picking up cables and geophones in some steep, craggy terrain. We had flown up into the mountains in a helicopter with our crew, but the two of us were alone on this job and found ourselves stuck due to pure fear of falling. We had been working in the area for weeks, but we had gotten away from the survey markers and the earth dropped off sharply, seemingly in every direction. Both of us straddled a rib of the monstrous rocks, talking openly about our anxiety. Then we began to talk about more trivial things and soon we were relaxed enough to see our way out. We gathered our resolve, dug in our boots and climbed up and over, down and around, back to the landing zone.
I don’t think either of us shared our terrifying moment with the rest of the group. We had gone off the path, and while we weren’t exactly lost, we sure got ourselves into an uncomfortable and frightening position. It took some distraction, some reflection and some strategy, but we found our way back. I wasn’t much of a praying woman back then, but since then I sure have thanked God for leading me out of that predicament.
My mountaintop experience wasn’t something to strive for, but it reminds me to hold on when things get tense or stressful. Sometimes our minds are so busy worrying and thinking about the “what-ifs,” that we forget to live in the moment. I, for one, have to stop and remember to stay grounded in the present, especially if I want to hear the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Now that I am a praying woman, I assess my surroundings and God leads me on, even when the way is not clear. I have learned to trust the One who made the mountains, and I cling to each moment, because I know God is with me here and now.