Moving Ahead

‘Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there’
- Will Rogers

Leaving home before first light was novel. I was traveling to speak at a venue nestled in the deep enclaves of the Drakensburg mountains. It was a season of temperatures dropping to below two degrees celsius and the appearing of pristine snow capped mountaintops. Not cherishing the idea of traveling several hours on my own, I asked my friend Michelle to join me for this escapade. It was her birthday week and we decided that this road trip was my unique gift to her. We did not know how generous this experience was going to be or the many insights to be discovered on an unassuming mountain road.

My co-workers who had gone ahead of me the previous day, had warned that the roads were wet and dangerously slippery and hail storms a strong possibility. Internally, I had an intuitive sense that all was going to be well. The presence of God seemed to fill the day. As darkness turned to light, a splendid vivid sunrise blanketed the car with warmth and a reassuring rose gold glow. Throughout the journey there was no trace of rain, hail or even a hint of a slippery surface. We marveled at God’s goodness and were reminded that He alone controls all climatic conditions. We also realized that if He gives us a road to walk or a destiny to deliver, He will decide on the conditions for the mission. Our role is just to trust and move ahead.

A large portion of our journey was spent meandering through the low lying areas of the mountains and to our delight, extensive portions of the valleys were lush with life. There were gently sloping green pastures, peaceful Nguni cows grazing and vegetation to nurture many rural villages. There was also dry arid land and cascading autumn leaves signifying seasonal change. Michelle and I seriously questioned the valley experiences in our lives. What do we focus on when we are wandering through a valley? Today, God made it clear that there were riches in the valley and all it required was that we gain spiritual sight and accurately see the bigger picture. The most remarkable and miraculous surprise of the valley was that every now and then we climbed a small incline and could see the majesty and radiance of mountain peaks. This was a sight of divine beauty and unlimited magnificence - a glimpse of our creator’s hand and grand design. The valley was also home to clear mountain water. A vital sustenance to replenish and renew the tired sojourner. What are we focused on when we walk through the valley of disappointment and emotional turmoil? Do we keep our head down and look only at the emptiness in front of us? My strong sense was that God was saying, ‘I am with you in the valley but please look up and see the possibilities of what lies ahead’. He was saying ‘stay the course and move ahead’.

Once we left the comfort of the tarred road and had to venture into rocky winding paths - a few more crucial lessons emerged. We learnt that rocky places are dark and full of uncertain obstacles – a large tractor and a crane trying to remove fallen boulders. The tall trees hid the warming sunlight and the atmosphere felt chilly and uncertain. But we had already seen the mountain top and knew that it was ahead and very close by. All it required once again was that we move ahead to reach our destination. It taught us that it is always so easy to give up when victory is within reach. The principle is to continue to move ahead even in the darkest of times of life for He had already gone ahead of us and is welcoming everyone into a more spacious place.

Continue on your path and move ahead.

Written by Dr Rani Samuel
Clinical Psychologist