In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)
It was mid-morning as our little band of flatlanders arrived at our 6,000-foot trail head. Just a mere 24 hours earlier we had left home at sea level, and it felt great to be breathing the crisp mountain air. We tried to encourage our group of students to pace themselves, but excitement was running high for the five-day hike along the Continental Divide trail.
We arrived at our first night's destination: an easy 4,000-foot ascent, and by 1 p.m. we had finished lunch. We had the whole afternoon to set up camp and explore the area, but against conventional wisdom we let the students convince us to press on toward the top. This would put us a day ahead, I thought, and anyway we were all feeling great.
As we were crossing a snow-covered valley, I noticed one of the girls lagging behind. She said she wasn’t feeling well, but I brushed it off, telling myself that we were almost to the top and we could rest once we got there.
It was nearly dark as we arrived at the 12,000-foot divide—our campsite for the night. There was only one problem: Almost everyone in our group was suffering from altitude sickness.
The next morning the situation was even worse. The other two leaders and I met to pray. We asked God for wisdom and direction. We decided to descend partway back down the mountain to see if that would help. Within an hour or so of descending, the symptoms had all but disappeared. We all sensed God had given us the direction we needed, and we were able to enjoy a great hiking trip without further incident.
Do you need direction in your life? Ask our generous God, and He will give it to you.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5 (NIV)