13 October 2009

Takes from the Trek

As my fingers and toes froze in Waterton Canyon, I should have been thinking about the pioneers. After all, it was just three months ago I spent a week walking in their footsteps. My fingers and toes were cold for about two hours on Saturday. Some of the pioneers endured two months of brutal cold. And they didn't have toe warmers, neoprene gloves and wicking fabric layers that seal in the heat and draw out the moisture.

Sunday school took care of my failure to remember lessons learned. We talked about the pioneers and what it means to be rescued.
Three days before the Trek, the check engine light came on in my car. The following day, I pinched a nerve in my neck. Laying face down in my bed, crying (because that's the only position I could maintain and about the only thing I could do), I asked God why these things were happening. Didn't He want me to go on the Trek? Didn't He want me to share my photographic talents?

Quietly, peacefully, an answer settled in my mind. "Would you rather these things happen to you in Wyoming?"

Instantly humbled, I realized it was better to work the bugs out before I left. No, I did not want to spend more time with the medical folk than just the ride to and from Wyoming, and no, I absolutely did not want to get stranded in the middle of nowhere while entrusted with teenage lives.

As a roving photographer who was trying to set a good example for the youth, I did not fill my Camelbak with water. I carried a water bottle, just like they did. The waterproof Camelbak was reserved strictly for keeping my digital camera, batteries and memory cards dry in case of rain.

On Day Two, some of the handcarts in my company did not fill their water reserves. Some families did not want to haul the extra weight. As a result, many people ran out of water, including me. Just as the pioneers must have suffered so many years ago.

That experience alone helped us bond even closer because we realized how important it is to be able to help each other and literally carry our own weight. It also helped us experience at a much smaller degree one of the hardships the pioneers certainly must have endured time and time again. I wrote in my journal in the days that followed that I would never forget that lesson. I promised, covenanted, never to be caught unprepared again. And then it happened again last Saturday when I was not entirely properly dressed for the temperatures of my frigid mountain bike ride.

This is one of the reasons our leaders want us to remember the stories of the pioneers. There is no such thing as being too well prepared. And there is no such thing as "done" when it comes to preparation.

I got cold Saturday. Sloshing in the mud and snow was too much fun to waste a even minute whining or complaining. That same fun prevented me from allowing the sensations in my fingers and toes to mingle with memories that may one day be important.

I'm thankful for church leaders, lesson manuals and hymns that remind me to remember what I've been taught.

1 comment :


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

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