Last weekend, Free The Girls sent me to the Northern Michigan. My family got to tag along and on our way home, we stopped in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
The highlight of the trip was a 450 foot dune cliff.
It's so steep that, from the top, you can’t where the sand meets the water. There is a warning sign encouraging people to take in the view from the top, rather than risk getting stuck at the bottom or spending a few hours climbing back up.
But … I’m not much for warning signs.
Sarah reluctantly agreed to let the kids play in the sand at the top while I trekked down. A few young women had gone down half-way and said it only took them a few minutes to climb back up. I made it to the bottom in a very fun 5 minute jaunt, and I expected the climb up to take 10-15 minutes of moderate work.
10 minutes in, I was swallowing gnats and dripping sweat. I had already stopped to rest several times, and I still couldn’t even see the top. It was hard, hand and foot climbing, losing one step for every two steps up. After 15 minutes, I could see Emma waving in annoyance and telling me to hurry. When I finally lumbered to the top, I was soaked in sweat, covered in sand, and nauseous.
This is a picture of some of life’s hardest problems.
Addiction, debt, grief, extra body weight, depression, and damaged relationships can sneak up on us with their severity. We may have gone downhill much faster and further than we realized, but the climb out is much longer and more difficult. In fact, we may work hard for a long time before we can even see the top. But with God’s help, we can climb out of any hole one step at a time.
But take hope. We may have gone downhill much faster and further than we realized, but with God's help, we can climb out of almost any hole one step at a time.
And, the best lesson of all: heed the warning signs and listen to your wife.