For something different, we decided we’d tackle the sand dunes. Not exactly beachfront, but my wife assured our children that it would be fun– it was thirty years ago! All grumbling aside, it turned out to be a fabulous morning… once you got to the top of a dune and could look out over the beach, the sound, and the crazy tourists trying to learn how to hang glide.
But the view from the bottom of the dune was significantly different.
At the bottom of the dune, all you could see was… more dune. Sand. An occasional hardy plant. And more sand.
The hike to the top was tough in the soft sand that was ever shifting beneath my feet. The ground wasn’t stable enough to grip onto, and the incline was high. The sun was beating down by midmorning, and the weight of a tired three-year-old, well, that didn’t help either. Once, I looked up to see how much farther we had to go and realized that wasn’t actually going to help my morale. But getting to the top was worth it, and looking back, I could see the distance we’d climbed.
A panoramic view of sand, sea, and sky was lit up like a post card. Animal tracks reminded us that it wasn’t quite as civilized as home. The exuberance of the hang gliders, upon reaching their peak, was transferable. We’d conquered a dune, and reached the top!
Only to realize that another dune, a taller, steeper dune awaited us just down and up again.
Isn’t it amazing how life can be like that sometimes?
At the bottom of a tough experience, it can appear that this is all there is, that the ‘sand’ in your life is all-consuming? As you walk through it, it sometimes feels like you just might never make it to the top? Yet, when you get to the top, you can see back through it and recognize what you’ve survived, overcome, accomplished, waded through, sacrificed for, achieved in the process. And then it’s on to the next challenge.
I’m sure the experience for my three year old was different; he probably felt more like I do when my world seems too tough and I feel whiny. That’s when God picks me up, throws me on his shoulders and says, “okay, you’re done? Now you’re ready for me to take this? No problem!”
In the end, I hope I’ll remember all this the next time there’s a “dune” in my life. It’s not the end of the world, just a small mountain to climb, just something to be accomplished. There ain’t no mountain high enough that will keep me from getting through.