It is a brisk, chilly night and smoke rises from the chimney of the large cabin nestled up against a hillside enveloped by pines. With the faint babbling of a small river just behind the clearing, the warm lights from the cabin windows are inviting inward. Drawing nearer, the tantalizing scents of a home-cooked meal permeates the air, pulling with overwhelming anticipation. Senses are heightened by the sounds of soft melodies of guitar and violin soothingly calling from the room just inside. Almost within reach of the heart-awakening scene and just outside the door, the music fades, the slight tinkling of silverware can be heard, and a singular voice projects a prayer of thanksgiving and blessings to Him for the bounty that surrounds. As the prayer ends, a cacophony of speech rises, ebbs, and flows, and with the invigorating discussion building the front door opens...shift Sweat is pouring off as the edge of a ridge comes into view, and with it, the feeling overtakes that just on the other side is what the last four grueling miles was all about. Legs burning, the pack pressing down ever more, there will be no stopping now as new life pulses and revitalizes the muscles that moments earlier seemed on the verge of collapse! Just a few more paces to go, just a few more ragged breathes that calm and deepen with each step, just a few more and then the crest. A 360-degree expanse explodes before eyes that cannot drink it all in as the entire world seems to lie below in one awe-inspiring moment. Suddenly the immensity of the earth surrounds: its grandeur, its beauty, its complexity all shouting, reflecting, and pointing toward an Author of boundless creativity that awakens something deep and finds the spirit wanting...shift
Heart pounding, muscles tensing and working furiously, and water spraying up as the raft deflects roughly off a boulder that seemingly came out of nowhere. Commands reach ears from somewhere behind and the entire raft shifts safely away for the moment as the team follows the command. They brace, ready and anticipating the next challenge down the raging river. Months of strenuous physical training kicks in, and the challenges that continue to beat at the team and the raft are overcome one by one with an unanticipated strength coming from within. Is this what being physically prepared did? The energy, the confidence, the ability to adapt and overcome against all the battles and tempests ahead. If so, then let the good fight be fought, continuing to be forged through test and fire; so that at the final hour when victory is at hand and rest comes at last, all that is heard is, "Well done, my good, and faithful servant"...shift
I hope this has stirred something in you, because, our Awakening trip to Red River, New Mexico, is coming up quickly! By the time 100 degrees hits North Texas, we'll be enjoying the brisk chill of mountain air (not to rub it in anyone's face or anything). June 22-30 we will be taking our five hard-working Seekers on a 4-day hike through Carson National Forest for the first trip of the year, the Awakening.
We plan to stay near the stretch of Red River's main street, so we'll have a couple of days to enjoy the town as we acclimate to the elevation before beginning the hike. The entire trip's timeline will center around summiting Wheeler Peak, which never gets old, even to the few Seekers who have already done it once or twice. We are excited to be taking our veterans on a slightly different route than they're used to, as well as give each of them the opportunity to lead their own session of journal discussions. These group talks will center around questions about the Bible, which will make for some lively—but amiable—chatter.
So here we are, excited and ready for another Veritas Life Adventure with our dedicated Seekers! Wish us well and we appreciate your prayers over our group as we travel.