A few weeks ago, a few friends and I went for a hike. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we were excited to be on a new trail. We had an idea of where we were going and which trails we needed to follow in order to get us to where we wanted to go. We took a picture of the map so we could have it on our phones and started out. It was about a nine-mile hike, and we were confident of our ability to read a map and follow the trail markers! All was well as we hiked and enjoyed the scenery and the company of each other. We took a little detour down to the lake and basked in the warmth and sunshine. We contineud to follow our signs and our trail markers and arrived at the point where we would take a different trail to get us back to our car. It was a place where several trails crossed and one could choose to go right or left. We knew according to our map that we needed to go right and that is what the trail markers indicated, as well. We turned right and began the trek back. Well, we began climbing and climbing and a few began to get concerned that we shouldn't be climbing in order to get back to our vehicle. I was confident we were going the right way because we were following the correct trail markers and had turned on to the trail with the name we were looking for. Because of that little bit of doubt, we stopped a few times to check our maps and the trail names. We knew according to all the facts that we were on the right path; however, the difficulty of the climb was causing doubt because it didn't make sense to some that we would be climbing at that part of the trail.
This made me think of how we are with our goals and things we want to achieve. We set the goal and we know where we want to go. We start out and all is well. There's sunshine - there's food - there's laughter - everything is going our way and the path seems smooth. As we get farther and farther on our journey, that is when the difficulties usually start happening. Challenges arise - the path gets steeper - and that is when doubt and discouragement comes in. We begin to wonder if we are on the right path - we begin to doubt that we will ever get to our goal and see success. And many people simply give up at this point.
When things get difficult on your journey towards your goals, that is not the time to quit!!!! That is the time to dig deep, gather your strength and be confident in what you set out to do. Distractions will come - you will see other paths and other trails and will consider trying one of those to get you to your goal - but don't do it. Don't give up just because the trail gets challenging and becomes difficult to climb. When that happens, it usually means that you are almost to the top or almost to your destination.
We did continue on the trail and trusted the map and the trail markers and we did make it to our cars. And, so will you! Just keep going!!!