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Wonderland Trail

As I gazed at the mountain for the first time, I understood why I’d heard about it so much. Snowfields glistened on the steep slope, with massive glaciers above and delicate meadows below. The base of the mountain stretched out wide and strong, while its top extended far above neighboring peaks. No wonder people call Mt. Rainier the Crown Jewel of the Pacific Northwest!

When I learned about the 93-mile Wonderland Trail that encircled the mountain, I decided I would return and backpack the loop. All winter, I studied the guidebooks to find the best itinerary, and I sent in my permit application right on time. Anticipation grew as I imagined myself setting foot on the famed trail. Soon a rigorous exercise program replaced other activities that I once cherished. No sacrifice seemed too great as I built my schedule around this adventure.

Then one day I checked my favorite trail blog for updates, and disappointment welled up inside. The park had received a record number of wilderness reservation requests and would not be able to grant any more permits to hike the Wonderland Trail that year. In disbelief, I read the words again. It looked as though all my plans and dreams had come to naught!

On Earth, unforeseen situations often destroy carefully developed plans. But there is one adventure I can always count on. My Jesus longs to spend the whole day with me each Sabbath—and that’s something to be excited about! I plan to build my life around something more lasting than a backpacking trip.

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