Earning the name "Forging" by Erik Lavespere After hours of hiking and soul searching, this trip has definitely earned its name " The Forging Trip".
Seekers have an amazing mindset of being optimistic and perseverant. We've pushed ourselves on all our hiking trips, but on this trip, we had to dig deep. On our first day, we climbed 80+ switchbacks to reach our campsite. On the following day, we hiked 11 miles and crossed multiple ridges. After an exhausting day of hiking, we jumped into the freezing water of Echo Lake to revive ourselves. The hikes were tough, but the picturesque scenery provided the ultimate distraction. We were looking at everything around us. Instead of focusing on our aching feet, we enjoyed the redwood trees, the pristine mountainous landscapes and the remote lakes. It was rewarding to see these sights firsthand.
The physical isn't the only thing we "forged" on this trip. We discussed spiritual matters like God's role in personal relationships, the significance and existence of heaven/hell and the importance of allowing God into our lives so that He may help us understand His word more fully. This trip overall has led me to realize that God is "forging" me in the right direction through the gifts he has provided me--from the Ultimate Frisbee Club to Veritas, Boy Scouts, making new friends, and choosing a career path.
I loved this trip to The Redwoods of Northern California and I hope to do it again one day.
The little things by Jathan Gupton
This last Veritas adventure to California was definitely out of this world. I never thought a state had so many settings, from a cold dark blue Pacific ocean and giant green redwood forests, the rocky Trinity Alps, to the amazing city of San Francisco. In a mystical way I feel as if these changing settings reflect me. School is like the cold sea with changing tides from smooth to rough, depending on if a test is coming up. Church is a gigantic redwood keeping my soul rooted to what I believe in. The mountains represent all the problems that come my way; I have to keep moving and overcome those things. Our leisure time in San Francisco mirrors my social life combined with work. Having these major things in life, like school, church, and work are great, but sometimes I feel that we should break life down and remember what it felt like to be five years old. I’m not talking about temper tantrums; I'm talking about getting excited over the little things that I should enjoy everyday in life.
I strongly believe in taking time to enjoy the little things in life, such as warm blankets fresh from the dryer, waking up before your alarm rings and realizing you can go back to sleep, smelling a fresh batch of Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies, or drinking coffee (the wonderful nectar that could only have been created by God) with a close friend. Enjoying the little things may seem insignificant to some, but they make me realize I must cherish everything before my life inevitably changes. Whether it be my last year of high school, my first year of college, my family, my friends, or my friends who are practically family, I plan to cherish all the people and experiences of my life for as long as possible.
We are in the third week of school and already I find myself in a frenzied schedule between school, work, church and family duties. However, I still take time to sit down and share a meal with my mom, or play a game with my little brother. My neighbors are some of my closest friends, so I make time to share a workout with them or just hang out together. I keep a positive outlook on life and don’t want to miss any opportunities that come my way.
Losing my grandfather when I was nine and my eighteen-year-old cousin when I was ten made me realize just how short our time is here on earth. The impacts of that experience influenced my views and lead me to value seeking joy in every experience, however small; and more especially, seeking out the little things that satisfies and rejuvenates my soul. The little things among this California trip helped me pause from life, enjoy a spiritual hike, and soak up beautiful nature with close friends.