Yesterday Don and I went on a hike up to Mary’s Rock in the Shenandoah Mountains. It’s just under 2 miles up and 2 miles back. When I say, “up”, yes, that means a climb to the top.

Being an experienced hiker and in much better shape than I am, Don spent most of the time ahead of me. And that includes him stopping every 5-10 minutes to wait for me so I stayed in sight. I didn’t stop moving but he’s just that much faster. About 1/2 way up I needed a water break and rest. Don didn’t need water – in his words, “I’m hardly sweating yet.”

After an hour and 20 minutes, we finally made it to the top. Wow, what a view! Well worth the climb. We sat rested for a bit, had a snack, and snapped a few pictures of the view. Then we got up to hike back down the mountain.

Of course, hiking down was easier than hiking up, but still, Don was mostly ahead of me. I pondered the perseverance it took for me to keep climbing when my legs felt like quitting and I couldn’t talk for being out of breath. I pushed through, trying to keep going so Don didn’t have to wait so much.

But then my pondering took a different turn.

What perseverance it took for Don to keep waiting for me to catch up! Without me there, he could have easily hiked up and back in about 90 minutes… including a short rest on the top. Given that, he could have walked on ahead and waited for me at the top. Instead he slowed way down and hiked a different way to stay closer to me.

My perseverance was physical – I had to keep pushing my body and not give up. Don’s was love – he laid down his own way for my good. He had to resist the temptation to go his own way and just get to the top. 

What an awesome day of hiking we enjoyed! Thank you, Lord!

Be devoted to one another in love. 
Honor one another above yourselves. 
(Romans 12:10)

Can you think of a time when you had to persevere in holding back when you wanted your way?

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