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  • "A Musing Pastor"

I double dog dare ya!

What is the most courageous thing you've ever attempted? What is the most challenging thing you've ever attempted? These questions might be synonymous. A life lived in comfort is nothing to quibble over; in fact, rest and relaxation are much needed for our bodies. Internal organs and systems need to restore and gain strength through rest. In balanced living however, one needs to consider equal amounts of exercise and challenge along with rest.

Over Labor Day weekend, our family went camping and decided to hike a portion of the Standing Stone Trail which is part of the Eastern Trail. The plan consisted of an 8 mile drive from camp to the trailhead above Allensville. We would then hike 8 miles back to our campsite. Calculations had been made and it was decided that a 15-20 minute per mile pace would get us back before darkness set in. We left the camp at 3 PM and began the adventure.

Seriously, when we calculated the time per mile thing, nobody considered what kid of terrain we would encounter along the way. We had hiked a short length of the trail in the past and thought we knew the entire trail condition. I am here to share with you of a long journey through briars, thick ferns, over rocks, between trees, up hills, down hills, and in fairly hot temps. We all carried energy snacks and about 40 ounces of fluid each for the hike. We also kept a wary eye out for reptiles. Nothing was reported slithering across any rocks or trails. PHEW!!

Some of the views we experienced were breathtaking and beyond our expectations. We arrived back at camp a little after 7:15 PM. Tired? Yes. Glad the hike was over? Yes. Ready for some food and more water? Yes. Crazy enough to want to do another hike? YES.

There is a sense of accomplishment for one who attempts something out of their comfort zone. Going to recreational places that challenge our sensibilities of what is safe and acceptable help us deal with other real world challenges when they arrive. We are conditioning our minds to not set boundaries. Boundaries are good and we need them but not to the detriment of never attempting anything. Our payoff from the hike was family bonding time, fabulous views, and the outcome of finishing a goal and doing so with exhilaration! Okay, tired exhilaration.... How about you, when was the last time you pushed beyond a limitation set in place by a self-preserving brain? Life is to be lived. Check with your doctor and see what is acceptable challenge for you and then go enjoy a walk in the park, a ride on a bike, a hike on a mountain trail, or _______________.

PS: On the drive back to pick up our truck, we saw a solitary Black Rat snake slithering across the gravel road!!

PSS: Need more inspiration? Check out this link:

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