Have you ever climbed a tall hill and caught yourself falling backwards, despite your effort to keep taking that next step up?
I recently went on a camping trip with some friends in the beautiful Oklahoma wilderness (just kidding it was the state park 😉 ). After an eventful night in a leaky tent during storms (sooooo much fun!), we hiked all the next day through woods and mountains. It’s amazing how very different that trip into the forest, and the trip back from the forest, truly were.
We were so full of life and energy at the beginning of that day! Talking amongst each other, cracking jokes, setting pranks, snapping pictures, goofing off, etc etc. Plus, enjoying the nature and scenery around us! But towards the end of the trip, those same mountains we had climbed with so much life only hours before, seemed about ten times taller and impossible to climb on the way back.
With every step I took, I felt gravity pulling down on me even harder and I would catch myself falling two steps back. My feet felt heavier than ever in those hiking boots and I struggled to lift my foot even high enough to overstep the roots in my path. More than once, my friends who were ahead of me, would reach out a hand and pull me up a few steps until I could climb again on my own.
At the end of the day, about 5 o’clock in the afternoon, we finally made it back to the car, extra snacks, and cold water. Was it worth it? Absolutely! I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
Even though the journey may have been rough in some places, making it back to the car (without having any of the guys carry me I might add!) was an accomplishment worth feeling. Plus, the journey really wasn’t all that bad, in fact, we had way more fun than we struggled.
So what happens when we feel ourselves falling backwards in our spiritual journeys? How do we keep ourselves motivated to take steps forward, towards our goals or to grow in our character, when it seems like we can only go down backwards? Here are a few of my thoughts:
First, we need to recognize that it takes Conscious Effort to do anything Spiritual.