Address the Fear: Metaphor to Real

Two weeks ago, I had the incredible privilege to get some R&R at the beautiful Lake Louise Alberta.

If you are not familiar with it, it is just breathtaking in its winter splendor. It has a multiple of options for people to engage with the outdoors from hiking, skiing and skating to name a few.

My first day I took the 2K hike to the end of the lake, it was flat and level. It fulfilled all expectations and looking back at the hotel made for a stunning, soul rejuvenating view.

The next day I looked for a little more adventure. I decided to make the climb to the “Lookout,” forty-nine stories up according to my iPhone. “You access the trail behind the boathouse,” the barista told me as I was formulating my thoughts out loud.

“Is there any active wildlife this time of year?” I asked.

“The only thing I would be worried about,” she said, “would be the bears, but I think it’s too cold for them now.”

The temperature was hovering about -10c, it had just snowed the night before, and the four-foot-wide path looked somewhat used. It wasn’t entirely isolated. In and up I went.

About halfway up the trail, that had now narrowed to about two and a half feet, barely wide enough for a single person; I replayed the conversation. Yah, I agreed, it’s too cold for bears.  They would be in hibernation, wouldn’t they? I stopped caught my breath and looked around. Snow, dead quiet. I continued up the path.

I wonder if there are any cougars? Quieter. No, noise, just my deep breathing. They stalk. A three sixty look around. No stalkers.

Back to the climb. I wonder if this area has any wolves? Trying to sure my footing, maybe ten seconds from my last thought four-legs and black exploded past me, brushing my leg. My heart and body froze. Now staring me down not ten feet ahead and up from me was this huge black, motionless wolf, with… a collar? It took a few seconds to process what just happened. It was a dog, in the middle of nowhere and it wasn’t wagging its tale. The moment was still precarious, but at least now it was domestic. The dog was up the path, and so we were eye level.

What would you do? Exactly. I talked to it. In a microsecond of time, I remembered my dad’s words, fifty-two years earlier, “Don’t let him know you are afraid.” I kept the lilt in my voice and told it to go find its owner.

It blasted past me again and then it was gone.

A little unnerved, actually, a lot unnerved I kept going to the lookout.

The path had narrowed to about a foot wide and then without warning it happened again, this time it bumped me harder. I was losing confidence that this dog wasn’t just going to be on its way. Still, no owner was in sight. After a few moments of stare-down and lilt(y) one-way conversation, the dog was off down the trail.

Finally, I arrived at the lookout. It was amazing.

 

Here’s the Take-Away.

The devil is not omniscient; he doesn’t know everything. He is only a created being. He doesn’t know what you are thinking. He’s waiting for you to cut and run.

He will try and block your way to beautiful and purpose. He will do his best to make you afraid. He’s been defeated. Expose the lie. Tell him to go home. Find your refuge in God through Jesus. Keep on your journey to amazing!

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