This past weekend, the skies were sunny, the sunshine was warm, and there were a few gentle clouds in the sky.
The distant mountaintops were still glazed with snow as the sunlight bounced off their peaks.
But for the most part, except for the highest peaks... the snow had melted away.
There were glimpses of the snow-studded mountain peaks as we drove along, enjoying the balmy 65+ degree temperatures!
.... and then.... we found THE road that called out to us! *Adventure ahead*!
As we drove along the white mountain peaks grew taller before us.
We followed the road as it wound beside a meandering river...
... and we enjoyed the expanse of the mountains spread before us, and the slight cool breeze from the river.
Using my telephoto lens, I was able to zoom into one of the mountain ranges and see the snow dotting the landscape in patch worked layers...
We pulled over to the edge of the road, and got out to explore the little river running merrily by us.
We stood still for several moments, just enjoying the quiet sounds of the river, and the gentle breeze.
A creek emptied into the river bed, creating swirls of water bubbling, twirling, and dancing on downstream...
The beauty of the moment was enjoyed immensely by my husband and I.
Then... we continued on down the road, deeper into the dark mountain trail we went... as we began to climb higher and higher, we began to see more snow packing the sides of the road. At first the road itself was clear, with the sides piled with snow.
... but then the road began to twist and turn, gently pulling us deeper and higher into the mountain...
... and before long, we were holding on for the ride, as the road surface began to change into ice.
... the vehicle we were in was a truck, but without studded tires. My husband, an expert driver, grasped the steering wheel tightly as we looked for a place to turn around. We were not prepared to drive much higher than this, with the capacity of the vehicle we were in.
Our little truck bounced, and wheels slid as we cautiously made our way along slowly... hoping we could find an open area in which to turn around...
That is one thing about mountain living that we have learned here - you just never know what kind of conditions you might find as you go into the mountains... every turn brings you to a higher elevation, which in turn completely changes the temperature, which in turn can cause difficult road conditions.
Adventure - yes! That is what we were looking for, and found! Yet, we took the road slowly, driving very cautiously, because perhaps we found a little more adventure than we were looking for!
Finally, we did find an open area at a cross-roads, and we were able to turn our vehicle around, and make our way back down to the open roads again, safely thanks to the wonderful driving skills of my husband.
As we were driving back down the mountain, my husband and I remarked on how a road can appear so inviting, and seem to be the road you need to travel down. However, once turning on that road, there may be no turning back, or turning around point, and you are stuck with the decision you have made. Thankfully, we traveled safely back out of the icy road conditions, but we had no idea that would be the case when we first began to follow the gentle turns of the river.
Our experience caused me to ponder the roads that are taken in our lives, which happen in much the same way. We start down a "road", and from all that the eye can see, things appear manageable, and without any problems ahead. Yet, at a point in your travel, turning around is not an option, and going forward is fraught with difficulty and despair. We considered turning around at several junctures, but realized it wasn't safe to do so, and had to continue on, as going forward was the only option we had. Yet, as we rode, I prayed, and I realized... life is like that too. We are going forward on the road we are on, unable to turn around, turn back, or change course, and all that is left to do is pray and trust!
And... even as I prayed, there was a "turnaround" ahead, where we were able to remove ourselves from the road we had chosen, and to get back on the main highway. Our Lord is faithful like that - even if the road we thought would be perfect for our lives has turned out to be our worst nightmare... even in the midst of that reality, HE can provide a means of escape, a turnaround of sorts, and be the gentle hand providing support, guidance, and mercy along the way back to the highway we need to be on.
Traveling on the road less traveled is pure adventure, to be sure... and so much like our journey in life.
If the road you are on today seems to be like the icy road that we encountered on our adventure... try not to despair, but to focus on the Lord above, who is able to provide a "turnaround" just at the right time, and lead you safely back to the place you need to be.
May the presence of the Lord be with you today, as you remember that no matter the road your life may be on... He sees and knows just where you are, and if necessary, a "turnaround" may be just ahead, so don't despair... carry on in faith!