“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!” -Psalm 143:10
I have a reputation for losing luggage. I am really not sure how it happens, but at least 50% of the time my checked baggage is lost. I might not have excelled in stats class but I know, those are not good odds. Every time I have lost a bag, it has been inconvenient (see the one time my luggage got sent to Iran instead of the camp I was working in Austria…) but never has it threatened my trip.
That is, until this summer when I was traveling to Iceland for my family’s vacation. My family loves to backpack, and had decided for our family vacation we would brave Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail. I had packed and repacked my bag, making sure that I had everything I would need for our four day trek into the wild.
I arrived in Iceland four hours late. My luggage did not. The woman at the lost luggage counter insured me that there are many flights from Amsterdam each day, and my luggage should arrive tomorrow.
The next day, my luggage did not arrive. We waited and waited.
The next day, my luggage did not arrive. Iceland Air told me to purchase new hiking gear.
Normally, there is a deep love between a hiker and her hiking boots. I had worked for years to learn how to tie the laces so my socks wouldn’t slip. I had walked miles molding the soles of the boots to my feet.
So I hiked in the new boots. 58 kilometers in brand new hiking boots. You cannot imagine the blisters.
As I was walking, trying to ignore the cries of my hurting feet, I was mad. I was mad at Iceland Air for losing my luggage, mad that I had to hike in new boots, mad that I didn’t just wear my hiking boots on the airplane. Each step was a painful reminder of my missing shoes.
When we planned our family trip to Iceland, we had been warned that the weather was not always ideal. No one told us that we should prepare for constant rain, fog, and up to 70 mph wind gusts. No amount of preparation could have prepared us for the weather, nor could it have changed the fact I had lost my luggage. There was nothing we could do but trek forward.
As we trekked forward, we passed many trail markers, indicating that we were still following the correct path, that in the fog we had not wandered away. I started to look forward to passing by the sign posts. They were my reassurance, a comfort through the pain, unrelenting wind and rain.
The longer I walked, I noticed that in areas that were more challenging, and in places where the fog was particularly bad, there were more posts, marking the way.
As I have been reflecting on this journey, I was reminded of the Exodus. As the Israelites were lead out of Egypt, the Lord went before them, leading the people by a cloud by day and fire by night (Exodus 13:21). The Lord lead and guided the people, through extremely difficult circumstances.
This was how I felt on the trail. Even when things were difficult and the journey felt impossible, there were markers, pointing and leading me home.
Love Always, Liv
P.S. HEY!! Would you like to know more about my ministry with Young Life in Grenoble? Please let me know, I would love to add you to my ministry news letter! Due to European Privacy Laws, I can’t share much on my blog, but I send a monthly newsletter dedicated to my ministry here! 🙂