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As we crept through the canyon, rising above the desert floor, we took in the shifting landscape- the steep rock walls, colorful layers of sediment and stone, while finding slivers of shade to shelter from the sun. Between staring down at my feet, navigating the rocks and sand, I would look up to take in these sights. I snapped a few photos of Drew walking amidst such impressive features and occasionally asked him to stop and turn around for a picture, a nice excuse to catch my breath too.

At one point, as he turned to face me he pointed over my shoulder towards the view behind us. I knew we’d been slowly trudging uphill, but it wasn’t until I turned around that I gained perspective on just how far we’d climbed. I realized how focused I’d been on my immediate surroundings- the path before me, the canyon walls, steep incline, beating sun. Turning around we could see where we had come from, the progress we’d made, the expansive view we now had even in the middle of our ascent.

My time outdoors has some pretty incredible parallels to my journey in life. I often get engrossed in what is immediately around me, for better or worse. When things are good, it’s all fine and dandy; but, when the going gets tough, it suddenly feels like a trap. When I can’t see around the next bend, it often seems like all I have is what’s right in front of me. But if I stop, turn around, and take in the journey as a whole, it is usually then that I have another layer of appreciation for how far I’ve come. I can see God’s faithfulness, not just in the present, but in all the moments that have led me up to that point. I can trust that as I journey on, one day I’ll look back to these present moments and they will have become just another part of my path forward.