Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In the middle

In my twenties, back in the days of pagers (which I had) and brick-like cell phones (which I didn't have), I decided I would bike the C&O Canal trail by myself. It's 184.5 miles long. I had a bike, water, some food, and a tent. I figured it would take me three days. (My dad was going to meet me at designated stops for camping and restoring provisions.)

The first day, I encountered the Paw Paw tunnel. I walked my bike through it. I didn't have a flashlight--it never occurred to me I would need one. Halfway through, there was light at each end, but I was in the middle where it was dark. I couldn't even see what I was standing on. The light at each end was so small, it didn't help.

In the middle, there was no quitting. Not even when I wished I hadn't started. Or wished I had at least brought a flashlight. And, good grief, I hoped there weren't snakes or rats in there. In the middle, to turn back meant being stuck. In the middle, the only way out was through it. I kept my sight on whatever I could see before me, and when I couldn't see what was in front of me, I just kept my pace, cautious, anyway.

After a while, the light at the end got larger. The path became clearer. I was so excited to see the bigger, brighter trail ahead of me. And the voices of hikers nearby? What a delight. I wasn't alone (even though I was). I asked someone to take a picture of me. Me and my bike. At the mouth of the tunnel.

I biked sixty miles that first day.

Today feels like the middle. In past weeks: a review, Erin sick (twice!), Lanie sick (once), a cat dying and a blizzard. Lots of house work and heart work. Lots of thinking. Lots of catching up to do: laundry, lessons. Just finished quarter two. Right in the middle. The finish line is in sight, but it feels far off. I don't even know what I'm standing on, or where the next step will take me. And in the middle, though I feel alone, I know I'm not.

In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

1 comment:

Nora said...

Simply beautiful!