I have wanted to hike the Dent de Crolles from the first moment I heard about it. I have looked at it each day I have lived in Grenoble and thought, someday, I will hike that. It is not as lofty of a goal as it may sound. People hike it every day. This was a very reasonable goal, it was not like I was planning to hike Everest, or even the Mont Blanc.
My dream came true last Saturday. I loaded into my friend’s car early Saturday morning and we headed toward the mountain. The weather was perfect. When we got to the parking lot, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, it was like the world was rejoicing with me.
About 30 minutes into the hike, we looked up and noticed a cloud, in the exact spot we were heading. It will clear once by the time we get to the top, I repeated to myself over and over. I had been told that one of the most rewarding parts of this hike was the view over Grenoble. We hiked on. The cloud was not looking like it was going to clear. About half way through, feeling discouraged by the cloud, I had to ask myself—Would this day have been worth it even if I don’t get the view. It was then that I stopped thinking about the cloud that may or may not greet us at the top, but more about the view of the journey. I listened more deeply to the conversations with my friends. I focused more on the way the trail looped and turned. I saw a marmot (this is now the second animal I have seen while hiking in France, I can happily leave my bear spray in Spokane!) I got to enjoy the journey.
We were greeted by not just a cloud, but a wall of fog, right at the edge of the cliff at the summit. We got no view. But, I realized, it didn’t matter. I didn’t need the view at the top, because I had enjoyed the journey to get there. I am not sure if it is because this was the first time I had really stopped to enjoy the trail, but it was honestly one of the most beautiful hikes I have done—even with no view.
This week, I read a commentary about Jesus calming the storm, the one were the disciples find Jesus sleeping, in the middle of the storm. The author pointed out that Jesus by sleeping, was not concerning himself about reaching the destination. He was enjoying and resting (literally) during the journey to get there. This year, I want to take more time to look around and enjoy this path the Lord has placed me on. It is so easy to get caught up in the, “whenever this one thing happens” mentality that I lose sight of what the Lord is doing right in front of me now. This journey is a beautiful one, no matter what the destination looks like.
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