We headed off early Sunday morning for the x-country ski trails. We had less then 2 hours, so when Ian suggested we do a loop that was 13.5 km I protested. But he really wanted to do it, and who am I to put the kibosh on an adventure! I was loving the scenery and the quiet morning at first. But as the trail got tougher and I got tired, I started wishing I had protested more loudly. It had been really warm so the snow was abrasive and our sticky wax seemed to do us little good as it quickly disappeared. Skiing was becoming more frustrating than fun in these conditions. We were still trying to hurry so we would make it to church in Estevan. As our 2 hour mark passed and I knew we weren't close yet, I let frustration and tiredness take over my attitude. I actually started to feel like I couldn't make it. I wanted to sit down and give up, because even if I kept going farther, I didn't believe I would be able to make it to the end. My arms hurt. I have to confess at the height of it all, my chin even quivered. My speed had dramatically declined to barely moving. But, around another corner and there it was...the little cabin that let me know we only had 1.6 km to go! We'd made our loop! Soon I was flying along again and enjoying the scenery. It seemed like only minutes after seeing the cabin that I was standing by the car.
It got me thinking about many of the people I visit with on my job. I often feel I can never understand why people don't make better choices for their health. Why wouldn't a person eat better to prevent disease? Why wouldn't a person follow advice to manage diabetes to prevent complications? But that day, when I really thought about what it would be like to feel completely hopeless, I felt like I could understand just a little. Why try to make good decisions for your life when you have absolutely no hope for good things in your life? I don't think its something that many of us can understand. I think its easy to judge from the other side. Looking back, I was obviously going to reach the end of the trail if I kept going. But that moment of feeling like I might as well give up because I couldn't make it was so powerful. Yet, it was also just a brief moment in my life. What if I felt that way everyday about my life? What about people who have no hope in their life?
At Grandpa Cecil's funeral I was reminded of the strong hope he had to reach heaven. That is the same hope that changes my life. I am so thankful for hope. I am thankful for the example of people like Cecil Bailey whose steadfast faith give me hope that I too can finish the race!
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enteres the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, wehre Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. Hebrews 6:19.