By Chandler F
Two years ago my family, friends, and I went backpacking through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Our plan was to hike 25 miles up to a certain peak and then to return. Excitement abounded among us as we camped at the bottom that first night. We were ready.
Morning came and we were anxious to begin this great journey through the beautiful mountains. Unfortunately for quite some time, we couldn’t figure out where our trail was! This setback was frustrating. Finally my grandfather found the trail head. Now that we had found it we thought it would be easy from there. We were wrong. Somehow our excitement had blocked from us the fact that we would be ascending two miles and walking 25 by the time we reached the peak. This painful truth became evident about half a mile in. Sweat dripped freely, legs burned painfully, and backpacks weighed heavily. It was clear this would not be a walk in the park. It was going to be fun, but anything but easy.
We had problems. Sometimes someone would want to stop because it was too hard. Sometimes someone would fall into the rushing rivers we had to cross (funny for all except the victim). Sometimes our backpacks would seem unbearable. Sometimes we found beautiful camping spots that were perfect to stop at, but we couldn’t because we hadn’t hiked far enough. Sometimes someone wanted to turn around. Sometimes the path was steeper than normal, and harder to follow. Sometimes we thought we knew which way the peak was when we would hit a switchback. Sometimes we thought we were almost to the top, when in reality we still had miles to go. Sometimes I wanted to give up. But always, always we had a trail to follow. Always we were able to imagine the reward we would receive if we pushed through the discomfort and made it to the peak. And when we did reach the highest point in that wilderness, we felt immortalized. All the hard work, pain, and frustration were worth it. We were victorious!
Life, like our hike, is a journey. We begin life with innocence and excitement. We want to be great and we want to be at our peak. But we have to make the trek first. Even before we make the journey, we have to find the path that will lead us to greatness. Some of us struggle our whole lives to find this one true path to lasting and perfect happiness. And even when we do find the path it is not enough. We have to remember that we have to follow it completely to reach our goal.
Sometimes we have problems. Sometimes life is just hard. Sometimes, someone we love has trying times and begins to fall. Sometimes our burdens and duties are strenuous and close to unbearable. Sometimes we are doing well, but then we hit a “switchback” and things change. Sometimes we want to turn back to things we’ve given up to walk the path. Sometimes we think we’ve done all we need, when we still have much more to do. Sometimes we want to give up on ourselves and the higher lifestyle upon which we have commenced. But always, always we have the path to follow. Always we can endure by walking the path and keeping our eyes on our objective.
This path is Jesus Christ. Under the direction of God our Heavenly Father He came here and showed us the way. Even now He is guiding us. So we must find Him, understand what He teaches and do what He asks. We can do this through His gospel. Life will still be tough. There are things that we must give up to be like Him, but it is worth it. If we do walk in His way, we will obtain our goal, which is living with Him, our Heavenly Father, and our fellow victors in heaven in a state of never-ending happiness. The time is now. The path is there. We have been promised that we can have the strength and guidance to follow the path.