Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving. We decided to do something a little different this year. We stayed home, didn’t go to any family events, spent a lot of time sleeping, resting, and yes, watching tv, and spending time with just the five of us. We decided to go hiking for the day on Monday. An hour’s drive from here there is a waterfall with a trail down to another waterfall. Perfect. It said it was a three hour round trip so we thought it would be a lovely hike through the woods.
The weather was perfect, we had a picnic lunch, and off we went. It turned into 13 kilometres of uphill the whole way. Well, maybe not quite, but it felt like it. Michael’s phone said we did the equivalent of 84 flights of stairs, and my legs certainly feel like it this morning!
My son, who’s been running, didn’t seem bothered a bit. My 13 year old daughter lead the entire way without slowing down, except for us to catch up. My husband was perfectly fine, but my 10 year old daughter and I struggled a bit. By the end it was more than a bit.
I have to tell you at this point, I can be a whiner. Its bad. Most women complain about men whining when they’re sick, but its the opposite in our house. I’ve been trying really hard to eradicate this trait, but by kilometre 11, I was done. I’ve also passed along this trait to my 10 year old. Between the two of us, we can really get going!
But around 11.5, she stopped and started crying. Not really the tears streaming down your face kind, but the I’m really trying not to cry but I might die kind. So I ran over, put my arms around her, told her I knew that she was getting tired, but we were almost done and we were strong, persevering women who could finish. (I also told her we were husqvarnas, a word from my mother’s language which means a woman good to break sod. It may not sound like a complement, but it is.)
A miracle happened. I stopped whining. I had to. Otherwise that poor dear was not going to make it. In the end, we made it to the car, we had a day full of memories and the feeling of accomplishing something great.
A couple of things occurred to me as I watched this last couple of ks. The two of us were struggling. And because of that, we were the best people to help each other. We were kind of getting irritated with the perkiness of everyone else who seemed to go straight uphill no problem. But the encouragement from another person who’s legs were about to fall off helped more.
The second thing was, as soon I was focused on helping her get through the last k, I stopped whining about my problems. I was no longer focused on my pain and struggle, but hers. Mostly because she's way to big for anyone to carry up a hill anymore! But when I focused on her pain and struggles, mine seemed much smaller.
Maybe you’re struggling to get up a hill today. Maybe the best way for you to get up it is to find someone else and tell them they are a husqvarna. Or at least a strong persevering woman. Its seems backward to help someone else instead of yourself, but God’s kingdom usually works that way. Cheer someone up a hill today, and keep climbing!