Whether you turn to the right or to the left,

your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,

“This is the way; walk in it.”

– Isaiah. 30:21

As a child, my earthly Father would take me up into the Sierra Nevada mountains, to the Desolation Wilderness Area. These treks were long, rigorous, and, in my young mind, nothing short of torturous–stretching me totally beyond my comfort!

It never occurred to me one time to question that my Dad knew what he was doing and where we were going. I never once dug in my heels stubbornly and insisted that he prove to me that he knew where we were going.

I also never questioned that there wasn’t going to be something about this experience that made it worth every sore muscle fiber and gasping breath.

My dad knew things–he knew that there were wonders ahead if I would but trust him. He had in mind to share with me things that I had not yet seen. He wanted to take me to places that I had never been–to share with me views of such splendor and beauty–all unmatchable back in the Sacramento valley where we lived the rest of the time.

So, I followed. As fast as my little kid legs would take me!

He would direct me and I would follow, never questioning.

My dad died on December 30, 1999 and our hiking days were ,long before that! Perhaps 35 years ago!

Now, so many years later, I see in retrospect just how foundational these weekend excursions were, imparting a passion for nature to my life today that affects me today. My love for the beauty of the natural world has affected my career choices, my recreational pursuits–even where I wanted my husband to propose to me! I now live in the foothills at the base of those very mountains my Dad and I hiked. I have dreams and visions I would love to realize one day and, foundational to all of these, are awe for the glory and majesty of Creation–the incredible beauty of a mountain peak, the solitude of a high elevation lake, the unparalleled joy that comes from the symphony of frogs on a spring night…You name it. If it is nature at all, I love it and relish it and it makes my heart sing and dance. All of creation proclaims the glory of God! Even the tall pines, standing as sentries over the world, are as earth’s arms raised in worship to the Lord!

In a very real way, the very thing that makes my life as rich as it is today in December 2007 is because I followed my earthly dad, fallible as he was (and he really was!) up up up to the heights, enjoying even the ardurous journey more than I then realized.

My Heavenly Father leads me daily.

I have absolutely NO doubt that He, too, has seen things that he longs to show me, to inspire me.

He wants my life to be turned around by what I experience as I follow Him.

He whispers “This is the way, walk in it.”

Yet…what is this?! I resist Him!

I trusted my earthly dad that my Heavenly Father GAVE to me, and yet I resist following HIM? The One who created all that beauty?

Why, I wonder, do I doubt that He knows my body, my life…why, I wonder, do I even hesitate!

As I continue along this path in “Desolation Wilderness” I will think of those days (so very very) long ago when I eagerly followed my earthly dad and was never disappointed. I will keep my eyes on my Abba Father…my Heavenly Daddy. He directs and guides alongside me as he walks alongside. Amazing experiences are awaiting!

Oh Heavenly Father. I thank you for a new day…another opportunity to follow you on a journey. You know the way, you know the obstacles and the “unexpected” surprises that await. More than the safety I knew with my earthly father all those years ago, I am secure as I rest and nestle myself in you. Please infuse me with confidence in your leadership today. Abba, Daddy…I choose to follow. Lead on. Amen.