On Eagles’ Wings

Those that hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary.     Isaiah 40:31

58 - Sunrise on Dead River
Another promising morning on the Dead River during 2011’s Paddle for Hope

Today we will gather to officially celebrate the book launch and continue the encouraging start that Upwards has had. This is a day that I’ve been anticipating for months. It would be natural to be focusing on the refreshments and slideshow and whether we have enough pennies and nickels to make change for $18.94.

This morning, though, I want to think of eagles’ wings, not book sales numbers. To remember why I felt such a pull to write and how long I agonized over how much of myself and my faith to share in what is, at heart, an adventure tale.

IMG_6929
Webber Pond shoreline this fall morning

The dawn has been arriving a bit later every day, but when it was light this morning, I walked down to nearby Webber Pond. Thinking about this day, it seemed like the summit of a high peak, for so long hidden by clouds. If not for my hope in God, that peak might still be shrouded in mist. I might never have reached it.

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. I had hoped and found the strength I needed – to brave escaped convicts and insane stretches of upstream whitewater. I had learned to be more flexible, to try to forgive myself when things didn’t go according to plan, on the water and with the book. I had believed in a dream enough, just enough, to reach the summit. So thank you, God, for walking (and paddling) with me.

In time of sorrow…may you see God’s light on the path ahead

When the road you walk is dark,

May you always hear, even in your hour of sorrow,

The gentle singing of the lark.

When times are hard may hardness never turn your heart to stone—

May you always remember when the shadows fall—

You do not walk alone.

A Celtic blessing, from the Upwards epilogue

 

 

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