I didn’t do any hiking for about two weeks after I returned from Yosemite. It wasn’t because I was sore; I had very little soreness, which got better after about a day or so. I didn’t hike because I had reached a goal that I had spent months preparing for. It’s very difficult to motivate yourself to do things when you don’t have a goal or a purpose. I had grown complacent and didn’t want to exercise at all.
Do it again.
I heard the voice of God speak to my heart. What? Again? Why would anyone want to put themselves through that kind of torture another time? Then, it came to me. I would start training to do the hike again the next year and purpose to finish in less time.
It took me about 13 hours to finish the hike, not including the time spent at the summit. For most people, it takes less. I decided that I was up for the challenge. I got up one morning, put on my hiking gear and went on one of my favorite trails: a five-mile hike in Santa Clarita. I went during a weekday, so I hiked alone. Sometimes I do that.
It felt good to be back on the trails again and inhale some fresh air. Of course, the air wasn’t as fresh as it was at Yosemite, but it was better than breathing in smog. I noticed that I fared much better on the uphill than I had on that hike previously. I didn’t have to stop as much to catch my breath, which was a good sign.
When I had made it almost to the top of the ridge, just past a fork where the trail split, something in the middle of the trail caught my eye. I almost stepped on it as I thought initially that it was a big stick. When I realized it was a snake, I immediately stepped back a few feet. At the time, I didn’t know what kind of snake it was, but it didn’t matter. To me, a snake is a snake, and they are all ugly and disgusting creatures.
Although the snake didn’t move, I knew it was alive. Thankfully, it didn’t lunge at me. I took a picture of it and went back to the fork in the trail and took the other path. The trails converged later, so it wasn’t a big detour. That was enough excitement for one day.
I didn’t necessarily fear the snake. I just didn’t want to have to deal with a snake bite, especially while I was out in the wilderness alone.
I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
Luke 10:19 (New International Version)