There is a hiking trail on the Island of Kauai, which is a part of the Hawaiian Islands, called the Kalalau Trail and takes you along the Na Pali Coast, which stretches fifteen miles along the northwest coast of Kauai. Two miles into this 11-mile trail, there is a waterfall called the Hanakapiai Falls, where the water cascades down from above into a beautiful pool of water. The trail is a bit treacherous, however, to get there. The cliffs on this trail can rise as much as 4,000 feet up, and if you’re not careful, one small slip can take you all the way down to the ocean, but I doubt you would survive. This 11-mile trail is on my bucket list to complete.
I got the bug to hike from a college friend of mine I reconnected with after falling out of touch for quite a few years. He is an avid and experienced hiker, who invited me out for a 50-mile hike. At the ripe age of 40ish, I decided to join him on my first hike ever. 50 miles. Over 6 days.
I purchased my first backpack, a one-man tent, shoes, and packed the necessary gear and took off. You may think, this guy is crazy! Going off in the woods with no experience? Luckily, my friend is an avid hiker and tour guide with over 500 hiking miles, so I was in good company.
Walking into a wooded territory can produce a lot of different feelings; anxiety, anticipation, excitement, worry, just to name a few. It's natural, and can be unpredictable. The terrain can be flat, smooth, or, covered with obstacles you have to climb over or wade through, or steep. All on the same day. Not to mention the unpredictable weather.
When you weigh all of the unpredictable things that can happen, who would even start? And especially when you read all the stories about people getting lost, hurt, or dying, why would anyone be willing to sign up for that? When you face a forest, you may have feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and stress, because you don’t know what’s in there. And it’s scary.
When you face a tree, you relax a bit because, well, because it's just a tree. A tree doesn’t make an entire forest, yet a forest is made up of hundreds of trees. We tend to view our life as the forest; it’s too big and scary to face, and we don’t know what’s going to happen. What direction should I go? Is there a path, or do I need to make my own? Is there someone else making this journey, or is it just me?
It’s difficult going into the unknown. We want answers to how things will work out before we start, like reading the end of a book first. If we don't have the answers, we make up the worst-case scenario as protection, telling ourselves, “Well, if this is the worst that can happen, I guess it’ll be okay.”
Some answers may not come to you until you start. And the scenarios you anticipated, may never happen, and the ones you never anticipate, do. You won’t know until you get there.
So what does it take to start? It takes faith. Faith that God has good things for you, but you have to go through the forest to get there. It takes faith that everything works for good, and whatever obstacles you may be facing will make you stronger to achieve your purpose. Every day isn’t going to be a bed of roses, but having faith and direction and purpose makes the day easier.
Take that first step. If you find it difficult to start, or difficult to know where to start, contact me.
Original article: https://walking-in-love.net/start-here/f/just-start