It just wasn’t what I thought it would be. From the brochure and name of the cabin, I was certain we would have a creek running through the property where we could walk down with fishing poles and hopes of a big catch. But as we turned off the road where the river winded beside us, I knew that there would be no creek and no fishing. Instead of a brook of any kind, woods and tall grass that needed to be cut welcomed us to our little get away.
My attitude needed to change and I was struggling not to show my agitation like a little child not getting her way. It was then that I noticed the front porch with the swing that hung from the ceiling. Making my way over to it, I hopped on, and began to push back and forth. I began to feel the cool breeze that swept past me and started to look around my surroundings. Yes, there was no creek but there was a nice view of a dense forest that lay across the gravel road. I then began to take in the fact that no cars passed by and no traffic could be heard. Only birds, wild turkeys, and the sounds of crickets filled the silence.
After spending time with my husband, the weight of a negative attitude began to shake off and was replaced by pleasant thoughts and a sense of gratitude. Philippians 4:8 reminds me that I need to think of what is true, noble, lovely, praiseworthy and excellent. So this is what I focused on as I looked around my new surroundings. I just needed to remember that God created this spot on earth in the same manner that he created the beautiful mountain views that were just around the corner.
So with an adjusted attitude and walking stick, we got in the car and made the short trip to Grandfather Mountain, one of North Carolina’s most spectacular tourist destinations. Once passing through the gate, we began to see some great views of the valleys that lay thousands of feet below. But as we continued to ascend up the mountain, the views only became more breathtaking. On the level right below the top, we parked our car and began to hike up the steep path to the where the notorious swinging bridge expanded over a luminous gap in the mountain. Climbing some steps, we made our way unto the bridge. The air was cool and the sky was clear as we walked across the mile high bridge, feeling the slight movement under our feet. Once getting to the other side, there were huge stones that had to be maneuvered to find the best view of the beautiful valley below.
Being in my late 50’s, I have lost some of the agility that I once took for granted. This made maneuvering through the stones and large rocks difficult. The knowledge of knowing that one wrong move could send me sailing off the side of the mountain was also ever present in my thoughts. Finally, I made my way to the large rock that was suspended over the edge of the mountain. It was then, with the help of my walking stick, that I secured my footing and was able to take in the view. My thoughts turned to God and began to inwardly praise him for his incredible creation. The silhouettes of hundreds of mountains stood in the distance with a valley full of lush green trees. Blue skies with fluffy white clouds made for a picture that only our Heavenly Father could create.
Standing there, suspended in time, I couldn’t help but think how I may have missed all of this if I had stayed focused on the things that I didn’t have. Did God want me to leave the cabin and take the extra effort to find the beauty of this breath taking view? Did he need me to step away from my dismal disposition to find the gift just around the bend? Lastly, I believe God wanted me to learn that the treasures of this life can only be found with a grateful attitude and in this case the help of a walking stick.