By Glenn Grow, National Alumni Board
I recently had the opportunity to climb Hyndman Peak in Idaho, one of the largest peaks in the state at more than 12,000 ft. Although not as big as Colorado’s fourteeners, the terrain was rocky, full of boulders and scree fields.
My daughter, her friend and I camped at the midpoint the night before to hike up early the next morning. My pace of hiking is not like it was when I was at the A/U Ranches, where I worked on staff and was a camper. I could keep up with my daughter and her friend so long as they waited occasionally; however, when I got to the steepest part toward the summit, it was very difficult for me. The reason was not the elevation change, but that I did not stand firm in my thought to prevent many negative ideas from coming into my consciousness.
As I lagged behind my young daughter and her friend, I thought, “Wow, old age is really catching up to me.” Then I thought, “I sure feel like I need some energy, like a sugar fix from an energy bar. Maybe this means I have diabetes or some other disease.” More untrue thoughts began to enter my head: “Maybe I’m slow because I haven’t been running as much or because my knee is not as good as it used to be.” These negative thoughts bombarded my consciousness as I was climbing up the mountain and seeing my daughter and her friend disappear from my view over the horizon.
At that point, I stopped. I really felt like I was a camper again at the A/U Ranches. I thought, “What would I do if this were a camper or a staff member and we were midway up the mountain? Of course, we would pray.” At that moment, I pulled out my phone where I had downloaded the audio version of that week’s Bible Lesson. I turned the volume up, put it back in my pocket and began climbing. I listened, and with each step I began to feel the fulfillment of spiritual joy that began rushing through me. Every step became steadier. Every rock became firm.
In the third section of the Lesson was the story of John the disciple at the gates of the temple. There, he and Peter healed the man sitting at the Beautiful gate who had been unable to walk since birth. Peter told him, “If you are expecting silver or gold, I have neither, but what I have I will certainly give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” (Acts 3:6, J.B. Phillips New Testament). The man jumped up and left with joy at the healing by the two disciples.
Before I knew it, I was nearing the top at a reasonable pace and could see my daughter sitting on the peak, eating her lunch. I was overjoyed. She snapped a picture of me as I climbed the last 50 yards, bent over with happy effort. It wasn’t necessarily my confidence in myself, but rather my confidence in the ability to utilize the strength afforded to each of us by God. I found that the suggestions of old age, fear or deterioration of any sort were quickly dispatched within that Bible Lesson.
I am so grateful for the lessons I learned while working at the A/U Ranches and as a camper there. I had immediately mentally traveled back to those experiences during the climb and realized this is something not to be left behind, but to be used my whole lifetime.
Having the power of spiritual fulfillment to support all of our endeavors, whether on the mountain top, at a desk, on the tennis court or in our social lives, allows us to embrace our role as children of God. I’m grateful for Adventure Unlimited and the lessons learned there, and I’m grateful to be a Christian Scientist.
How has your experience at the A/U Ranches or in an A/U Chapter/DiscoveryBound program blessed what you’re doing now? Email [email protected] with your story.