The Trail

by Paula Harrington
cabletrailpic.jpgEvery October, for the past few years, my family and I have participated in a church retreat at Fall Creek Falls State Park in southeastern Tennessee. The park features the largest waterfall east of the Mississippi River and many hiking trails.
Each evening we have a devotional and each day we take advantage of the many trails in the park. Some trails are pleasant strolls through the beautiful landscape, but there is one trail that is much more challenging. It is called the Cable Trail. The trail gets its name from the steel cable that runs from the top to the bottom of the gulf. In order to hike the trail, you must lower yourself down and pull yourself up while holding onto the cable.
Life isn’t much different than hiking the Cable Trail. The way down isn’t too tough and passes quickly, yet we seldom realize on the way down that we’re leading ourselves into captivity. We’re feeling good, taking chances, and venturing into unknown territory. Yet, at the same time, we’re sealing our fate.
Ascending the Cable Trail is another story. Pulling yourself up is much more strenuous than lowering yourself down. It takes more concentration and more determination to get back up the trail.
As I was pulling myself up, I found that it was sometimes easier to veer off the trail. In some places due to the vegetation or rocks, it was easier to go sideways instead of straight up, however this didn’t lead me where I wanted to go. With the help and encouragement of good friends and a goal in mind, I finally reached the top.
Jesus is our lifeline. Stronger than steel, he guides us to safety and peace. Even though we may become tired, we must never lose our focus and let go of him.
A Christian’s walk should lead us straight to Christ, yet many times we get off track. We change directions when faced with difficult situations or veer off to the side in search of easier terrain, however we only postpone the inevitable.
Our life is leading us to one of two places and we must never let go of the cable that will lead us upward no matter how treacherous the hike may become. The apostle Paul instructs us to be careful how we walk (Ephesians 5:15 NASV) and we should always remember that there is a victory waiting if we carefully proceed on the sometimes perilous Christian trail.

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