Saturday, November 5, 2011
Sometimes You Just Need To Turn Around
Outside of a 700 foot vertical descent on the way up (meaning we'd have to climb it on the way down) we were pretty sure the summit wouldn't be too great of a challenge. However, as we headed up the final ridge toward the top we saw storm clouds starting to form in the distance. It was still well before noon and we hadn't seen any lightning so we continued upward.
In fact we'd seen a guy climbing ahead of us and were pretty sure he had summited by now. Sure enough we met him as he was descending. We asked him what he thought about the clouds and he felt like the storm wasn't going to come our way. He wished us good luck, we thanked him and continued on. However, something just didn't seem right. I could see the angst on my daughter's face and frankly I began to worry too.
Being people of faith I decided we would pray for wisdom right there on the side of the mountain. Within about a minute of my "Amen" a bolt of lighting flashed somewhere beyond the summit and we were convinced we needed to get out of there. Just twenty minutes from the summit we had to give up. I hate not making it especially when I know I might not get a chance to return.
However, I've never regretted our decision once. We could have been killed if we'd continued and as climber extraordinaire Ed Viesturs says, getting down must be part of the goal. When we're climbing life mountains we may have to also sometimes turn around. We may have a goal in mind that we're simply not going to reach, at least that day. It's OK. If it's dangerous or simply too much to handle we may need to stop.
Sometimes we need a break to rest or get our bearings. We may need to pause now to save or store up energy for the next phase of the journey.
Whatever the reasons, don't hesitate to or fear stopping or retreating for awhile. It's never worth it to keep going if it's going to cost you more than you ever wanted to give, including your life.