Change by Robin Densmore Fuson
Can Change be good? Frightening? Disruptive? Difficult?
Jimmy spread everything out onto the floor. I took pictures and he did a thirty-second video. It all needed to go.
My husband, Jimmy, has a passion for hiking the mountains of Colorado. When we lived there, he could take off and in a few hours be at a trailhead. He chose peaks that were at least fourteen thousand feet high where in the bowls, snow never melts. The air is crisp and thin. Far above the timberline, he crested many picturesque places. His feet crossed some dangerous summits where one false move could result in a thousand-foot fall.
Jimmy is an introvert and those introspective lonely places not only gave him solitude but a time to reflect and pray. He came face to face with creation in all its forms from sunny tree-lined paths to picking himself over rockslides. It could change from T-shirt weather to thunderstorms booming and echoing between the peaks or waking in the morning to a sheet of frost on the sleeping bag and tent.
One time, Jimmy came upon a bear and backed up to give the brown fella a wide birth. The woods and mountains were full of skunks, deer, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, beaver, chipmunks, squirrels, marmots, and birds.
He has pictures to show where only a handful of people have traversed. To navigate these rugged places, he needed equipment—walking poles, backpacks, boots, gloves, gaiters, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, water filtration, navigation devices, and a blow-up pillow. The list is long and the stuff is priceless.
Priceless because of the fun, the memories, and the accomplishments. He hiked after injuring his knee and going to therapy. He worked until he could do it without pain. Every time he packed, he got excited for his adventure.
Then, one day, God relocated us to Tennessee—a two-day journey from Colorado. We didn’t know what the future held. He kept the equipment and the desire. In under two years, the Lord led us to Florida. Far from a hill, let alone a mountain.
I went to a writing conference in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Jimmy went with me. He dropped me off and drove to the designated trailhead to sleep. In the morning, he started his hike. Jimmy has this cool device that pinpoints his location on the map with GPS. I can log in and see where he is. I watched his dot move up the mountains then start back down. My heart fell as I knew something was wrong and I prayed he was all right. His body didn’t cooperate on this adventure. The mountains were not as rugged. Not as tall. But he had trouble.
When he got down, he called. His voice said it all. Disappointment. Dashed hopes. I cried for him and made arrangements for him to stay with me. Those days were great for me as I learned and had my husband with me at meals and at night. The time dragged for him.
From that moment on, the Lord prodded him. Nudged him. He canceled his subscription to SPOT, the GPS that gave us all peace of mind when he was far away from civilization.
It was a hobby that I didn’t want him to give up. He doesn’t want to give it up. The Lord has a different plan. Jimmy hasn’t successfully climbed a mountain for over seven years. My heart wrenches and I’ve cried for him.
He feels the Lord is working and he has to let go. So, he took all of his equipment and placed it for sale. He has to open his hand to the Lord. Look forward, not back. He has memories of the accomplishments he did.
The Lord may ask you to make a change. Gain a new adventure or leave a dream behind. Those times can be exciting or difficult and sad. Peace fills Jimmy’s soul because he is obeying the Lord. This is an affirmation that this is the right thing to do.
“Jesus called out to them, ‘Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!’ and they left their nets at once and followed him.” (Matthew 4:19 nlt)