Friday, August 13, 2010

Ready, Set, GO!

By Pamela Chapman

I am so amazingly blessed. I’ve been taking long walks the last few weeks in the beautiful Colorado Rockies. I want to drop a few pounds and firm up the ole thighs, but most importantly I’ve been spending quiet time with the Universe. Yes, I’m one of those folks who love to spend quiet time in the morning reconnecting to my Spirit. I want to clearly hear what I’m supposed to do and where I’m supposed to be and know if I’m on the right path. I have to do that in quietness.

Today, I was lead to take a different path. It was almost as if something or someone was urging me to get dressed hurriedly and to get going straight away. I jumped in my Jeep Grand Cherokee and headed west on I-70. I felt an urgent need to go into the canyon this morning. Glenwood Canyon, in the mountains of Colorado, is one of the most breathtaking, spectacular places I’ve ever visited. It has always intrigued me. At first I couldn’t find the frontage road that was going to take me to the trail I believed I needed to walk. I made a quick call. “I can’t find the road,” I said annoyed. As my loving friend very patiently gave me directions, I whipped my vehicle around and headed toward my destination.

Minutes later I was standing right in the middle of some of the greatest art ever created. As I stood looking up, to my left and to my right were rugged cliffs with the rolling Colorado River twisting and turning below running between them. The train tracks were empty and silent, the bike/pedestrian paths empty. All was silent except for my deep breathing and my heart beat.

At first, my heart pounded. It was early in the morning and I was in the middle of nowhere. What if I see a bear? And then I thought worse. What if I see a human? I began to think of an escape route when suddenly I remembered these words and spoke them aloud, “I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and the soundness of mind.” I found my peace. My heart rhythm slowed and quieted. I began to stretch and loosen readying myself for the journey. I checked my water pack and retied my laces.  I was set. I glanced up around me. I was ready to go—ready for an amazing journey.

As I walked between the majestic red, green and charcoal colored cliffs, I saw what appeared to be sentries standing guard watching over me. I began to feel safe. Peace that passes all understanding began to flood my heart and mind. I picked up my pace. I had never taken this path before, yet, somehow I knew it was the path for me in the moment. It was new. It was unfamiliar. There were moments when the path caused me to become quite anxious; but I knew I was right where I was supposed to be and nothing could harm me. A song came to my mind and I began to sing. Before I knew it I had walked to the next rest station three miles away.

I began to relate my morning walk to my daily walk. I clearly realized it was the newness—the unknown that was totally freaking me out. It was the unknown that was causing me to fear. What if I see a bear, a mountain lion or coyote? Oh goodness, am I going to have to walk into that tunnel that goes under the freeway? How long is it? Is it going to be dark? What if there’s an animal in there? That was some of my donkey-talk and mind chatter that morning. But, I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t turn back. I couldn’t give into my fears and head for safety. I had to keep going until I reached my destination.

I sat on the side of the river resting—taking in its awesomeness and its fluidity as it babbled against the rocks it rushed pass. It reminded me of life. As I marveled at my surroundings, I made a discovery that was an answer to a personal question I had been pondering for some time. I wondered if this was the reason I had been driven to walk the three miles in spite of my fears and anxieties. I took a deep breath, stood, and stretched once again. I readied myself for the journey home—the familiar path now. Setting the pace I was off and going once again. There would be no trepidation on the road back. I smiled. I knew God had been with me right in the midst of my crazy journey that morning.

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