Sunday, February 24, 2008

a walk in the mountains

many years ago, i went to Nepal with a bunch of good friends, and one day, the local guide told us we were going for a 'gentle walk'. naively, we all trotted along with great enthusiasm...for the first hour.

then, it turned into to be a monster (to me) 26-km trek along the foot of the annapurna mountains. in Nepal, there is no such thing as a straight walk. you are either climbing upwards, or trying to stop yourself from rolling downhill.

one of the most vivid memories i had was this particularly long and winding stretch we walked through. it was downhill all the way, and i learnt that day that gravity is not a friend. there were many parts when i had a helping hand, but somehow, i managed to stumble through right to the end...then i turned around and looked back at the entire trail, and nearly fainted from horror.

the trail was nothing but a merest scratch on the massive face of the mountain! it was so narrow, anyone of us could have just slipped, and fallen to our deaths thousands of feet below. i hadn't realised how dangerous it was, because i just focused on my feet, taking one step, and then the next, before i knew it, i got through everything. i am a very faint-hearted person. if i had known what i was in for, my legs would definitely collapse beneath me. they would have to send a helicopter up to airlift me away :P

this experience helps me to understand better why God wants to lead us one step at a time, instead of showing us the destination right from the start. we might draw back in fear, and fail to achieve what we could. the thing is, we might not realise that when the eventual happens, we would be prepared, because God's grace is sufficient. but trying to be prepared too far ahead forces us to use today's grace for tomorrow's problems. no wonder He tells us 'not to worry about tomorrow, because each day has enough trouble of its own.'

it is really easier to just take one step at a time. and that is what i am going to do: focus on putting one foot in front of the other, and see where God eventually leads me.