Epiphanies from a Wildflower Hike
Submitted by Marta Murrell | Photographs Courtesy of Larry Warren
The day after the hike through the woods in Norris, planned and led by Larry Warren, and before my muscles had time to send signals to my brain about how sore they were, it struck me that in a way our Messiah community is in the woods. Things shifted in our shared faith home when our pastors left. It’s not like there were no challenges before; some of our current challenges have existed
for a while, and some others are new. Maybe some hiking epiphanies can serve as guides during this transition and call process.
I would not have hiked that trail unless Larry invited others. If you’re going on a journey, invite friends. I wouldn’t have even gone outside that day since it was really cold for April, and Tim had to get all my winter clothes out of storage to find my long johns. Sometimes we need patience to stay in winter until spring fully arrives.
I would have missed many of the wildflowers without Larry pointing them out. Focus on what’s blooming.
We got separated on the drive up to Norris and ended up at opposite sides of the dam, unable to figure out why we couldn’t see Larry standing at the end of the road where he insisted he was waiting. It took 15 minutes and several phone calls to find each other. We took different routes, but after a little confusion and several hilarious attempts to communicate, we found each other. Make sure you stay in touch.
My right knee still hurts like heck going downhill, a reality I had forgotten since I haven’t hiked in a long time. Sometimes new realities bring back the pain of old wounds. I fervently wished I hadn’t climbed that hill. Once we end up somewhere, we have to find our way home, even if it is painful. I would have taken the easier path back had Libby not chosen the more challenging way. We need friends to invite us out of our comfort zone. Only women took the steep trail back. (Just saying.) The women who took the harder trail arrived at the parking lot quite a while before the others. Sometimes the harder road gets you there faster.
Trout makes pretty good dip. If you don’t like beer, try hard cider. Eating together is a great way to build community.
Cottage meetings are one way we can explore the woods together. Let’s be creative about other ways to build community as we hike these woods of transition and call together. Invite someone to lunch or coffee, a walk, a movie, a concert. We’re all in this together. Slow down and enjoy the journey. Focus on what’s blooming. Stick together. Find ways to stay in touch. Say yes to invitations for new adventures. Invite others to travel with you.
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