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Dear Young Disciples,

The sun beat down on the dusty trail, and my short legs ached from what seemed like endless hours of hiking. “How far to the car?” I whined. “I’m tired.”

“Fly or die,” my dad reminded. I knew what he meant: If I didn’t want to walk and keep up with the family, I had only two options: either figure out a way to fly (impossible), or sit down by the trail and wait to die (unthinkable). That left me back at square one, trudging onward. Ignoring the beautiful scenes around me, I longed for the sight of our big blue van.

That’s what hiking used to be to me: long, dreary, and meaningless. I couldn’t understand why my family called it fun.

Slowly, over the years, I began to change my mind. Lifting my gaze off my aching feet, I realized I’d been missing miles of beauty. In the untouched wilderness, I could see God’s glory like nowhere else. In the hours of walking, I could think about life and share interesting discussions with my family.

My feet and muscles still got sore, and I still got tired and thirsty—but I enjoyed it anyway. Nothing had changed about hiking. The only change was in me.

We can say the same thing of our heavenward hike. When we try to march onward by the force of willpower, we find ourselves tired, disheartened, and defeated. But with God working in us, we have victory and joy.

Yes, it’s all about surrender—but even that comes from Him!

Hiking heavenward,

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