The Redwoods are almost beyond description. Whatever I might say is dwarfed by the experience one has in being in the mist of serenity and peace. The gentle flowing Eel River winds and meanders through groves of majestic Redwoods, small farm plots, and an assortment grass meadows. Access to the river is guarded by blackberries, currently in full fruit. Trails, deer and cow mostly, provide an invitation to one and all. Yet beneath the awe inspiring, mind numbingly beautiful picture rests a deeper question.
Am I prepared for what lies within? Do I understand the risks? Am I willing to face the danger?
It is easy to think the answer is yes. How could anything so beautiful be dangerous? What possibly could go wrong?
Once educated, or at least made aware, of the possible dangers – rattle snakes, twisted ankles or dangerous fall beyond help’s reach, and simply getting lost are just the beginning – can and should one muster the courage to head off alone? My simple advice is never go out without at least one person being aware of where you are going and when you will return. Better yet, always go into the woods with at least one person by your side. Two are better than one! It is good to know help is walking along side.
Far too often I walk into situations totally unprepared. The tests and trials to come were easily going to overwhelm me. My ignorance isn’t new or uncommon. In the midst of difficult situation one of those close to Jesus abandoned the very principles he professed to hold most true.
“The young woman who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, ‘Aren't you one of this man's [Jesus’] disciples?’
He said, ‘No, I'm not.’” (John 18.17)
Simply being na?ve and positive isn’t enough. Relying on help, visible and not visible, is the best protection we can have in a very dangerous world. Being na?ve is no excuse for getting hurt. Trust the help available; the Spirit walks beside you and me. Also, others on the journey are willing to help.
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