This photo was taken looking back at the trail we had just covered during the Creede 50k. The notch that we passed through was an elevation of just over 12,000 feet. I continue to be amazed at how different the view looking down a hill compared the view looking up the same hill.
For me, this is a great reminder of the importance of not just looking ahead but also taking the time to look back. And reflect!
I remember seeing this reservoir as we were driving from Creede to Estes Park in Colorado. There was a small parking lot on the far side, so we stopped to get out and walk around. It was beautiful – the sun was shining brightly, the water was deep blue, the trees so green. We got several pictures of ourselves with this as the background.
It would have been so easy to just drive right by without stopping. How often do we pass by true beauty because we are in too much of a hurry.
How lovely your dwelling, O Lord of hosts! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord. My heart and flesh cry out for the living God. As the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest to settle her young, My home is by your altars, Lord of hosts, my king and my God! Blessed are those who dwell in your house! They never cease to praise you. Psalms 84:2-5
This photo was taken shortly after the start of the Creede 50k. If you look closely, you will notice that everyone in the photo is walking. That is because this was a fairly steep hill, even though it may not look that way in the photo.
Before I started running trails regularly, I thought it was important to run even the uphill portions of a race. That wasn’t even possible (at least for most of us) on this course. But even on a course less difficult than Creede, it is inefficient to try to run all the uphill stretches. Holding back on the difficult climbs actually leads to running a faster overall time.
I came across the following challenge recently: “What area of your life do you need to leave behind in order to follow God more closely?” At first, I thought of only “bad“ or negative things to leave behind. But I have come to realize, as with running, there are things which may seem good but are counterproductive and hold us back.
This is a photo of the Rio Grande River, taken during the drive to Creede, Colorado to run the 50k. The fog over the river was striking. I’ve seen this fog over water many times before, but don’t remember driving beside the fog for such a long stretch.
It takes a specific combination of circumstances to produce fog in this pattern. It also takes a specific combination of circumstances to produce a rainbow. Both are predictable, to some degree. Predictable and yet often seen unexpectedly. Blessings are often like that – predictable but often unexpected.
I am the Lord your God, who teaches you for your own good, who leads you in the way you should go. O that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your prosperity would have been like a river, and your success like the waves of the sea; your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like its grains. Isaiah 48:17-19
With the New Year, many people make resolutions. Often, they are based on spur of the moment choices. Not surprisingly, many people have already broken their New Year’s resolutions by the end of January.
A few years ago, my wife and I resolved to visit as many National Parks as we could. As we reflected on our experiences hiking in Grand Canyon and Yosemite, we realized this was the type of trip we really enjoyed. Great Sand Dunes was the 7th National Park we visited last year.
The best decisions are usually made after serious reflection.