September 08, 2010

Flowers on the Path

Last week while at Fish Lake in Southeast Utah I had a wonderful learning experience while taking a nature hike with all the families there. I was tired and wasn't thrilled about the hike but decided to go anyway. We went about a half mile up a winding canyon and I have to admit I was thinking the entire way about how I couldn't wait to turn around and go back. It was hot outside, I had the wrong shoes on, and the hike was mostly uphill. How thankful I was when we decided we'd had enough and turned around to head back to the cabin.

On the way back, I began to notice something I hadn't seen on the way up - beautiful flowers of all different colors, shapes, sizes and varieties scattered throughout the trail. Some of them were right out in the open and some of them I wouldn't have found without looking for them. I began picking a few for Jeni who had stayed behind, and those few turned into a beautiful bouquet, pictured above. I hadn't noticed the flowers on the way up and yet they had been there all along.

As I've reflected on that experience, I've come to realize that our lives are very much like that hike. Sometimes they're difficult with uphill climbs and twists and turns we hadn't expected. We may even complain about how challenging our trials are or that we'd rather be somewhere or someone else. And yet, through those trials, there are beautiful flowers all around, reminders of the beauty of God's plan of happiness for our lives. Sometimes those reminders are right in front of our eyes and sometimes we have to look for them. Either way, they are always there. If we pause long enough to pick up those reminders, we'll be blessed with a beautiful bouquet, a vibrant testimony that God lives and that He cares about even the smallest details of our lives.

Though I've known of God's love for me personally for a long time, I am so grateful for His tender reminder last week by sending me flowers on the path.