Friday, May 12, 2017

Narrow Is the Way, Which Leadeth Unto the Waterfalls

Once a year, each of our parents takes each of us kids out by ourselves. We do something fun, maybe eat at a special restaurant of our choosing, stuff like that.

Last week, both Momma and I were free on Friday, so she asked if I wanted my turn with her, and of course I'm not going to turn that down, but I had no idea where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. I thought we would probably end up in Tulsa, so I dressed up nicely. We made it about 50 yards from our house and I exclaimed, "Oh! We should have gone hiking!"

"Well... we still can. Want to turn around and get hiking clothes?"

"Hmm. Yes."

I like hiking. A lot. But we never go as a family, because it's just too hard with kids of all ages and bags and strollers and water bottles and snacks and cameras and jackets and then adults end up carrying all of those things we said they should have left behind but just had to bring. Yeah. We don't really hike.

So we didn't go to Tulsa. We drove in the opposite direction of Tulsa, went to a state park up in Osage territory, and found the map of hiking trails.

"Oh, they have waterfalls here?"

We obviously picked the trail with waterfalls. We drove down to the parking lot and started walking the path. The wide, easy, dirt trail. You could have driven a golf cart down that thing. Hardly a hiking trail.

About halfway down, we saw this jaggedy foot trail worn through the underbrush on the left side of the walking path. We both totally wanted to go on an actual hike, so we went for it. It probably took an extra couple of miles to get to the waterfalls. And I have a couple of good branch scrapes. We had to forge our own trail in parts, because there was no sign another human had been back there. It was way rougher than that easy peasy trail we'd abandoned—we both lost our balance and almost fell and had to cross some water on a bridge of boulders. There was some poison ivy back there, and we gave it its due paranoia.

But it was awesome.

It got fun when we left the main trail and took the road less traveled.

Not easier, mind you. But better.

I think sometimes when nonbelievers look from the outside and try to figure out what the Christian life is, all they see is the road hazards and mudslides, and not the wild blackberry bushes and up-close views of the river. They ask us why we would want to live a harder life, but they don't see that it's actually better.

Just because the hiking trail gets steeper doesn't mean it's no longer a great hiking trail. Maybe that's when the good part starts.

And just because something is great and worth doing doesn't necessarily mean it's easy.

Vincent van Gogh said, "Normality is a paved road; It's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow."

Go to the narrow trail. There are unstable rocks, but there are flowers.

Let Christ live His Christian life radically through you. There will be tough times, but God's blessings are abundant.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)


  1. That's such a great tradition..for each parent to have one special date with their child. There were several things while growing up that I would do with my mother or father exclusively, like reading
    Little House on the Prairie with my mom, or barbecuing/getting a newspaper with my dad. Those moments always made me feel so special and loved!:) But I don't think it was an official outing for each child. Those were just the things I did with them,and the other kids did different stuff for their alone time with our parents. :)

    This was a really good thought! I'm not usually the adventurous, off-the-beaten path type, but just today I hiked through the brush to get to a secluded waterfall, and it was beautiful. And my little sister had me bike to the school to climb up the hill and see the fort she and the other students have been making. :) Both excursions turned out to be very rewarding. ;)

    1. Aw that's special, too! My mom always read Little House on the Prairie with us right before bed, but it was just open for whoever wanted to come. For a long time I was my dad's helper for outside work. And he worked for a few years building custom cabinets and whenever he was at a new construction alone for the day, he'd let me come along—it was so fun to talk with him and run around the big new houses figuring out which room had the best echo. Haha! We started these regular dates just about five years ago. :)

      I love adventures and trekking the new worlds of the forest and all that! Maybe if you keep going out with your sisters (and Mykaela) you'll warm up to it! ;)


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