Life Lessons from the Trail

I just returned from spending a few days in the Negev desert where the children of Israel spent 38 of their 40 years.
Here are a few life lessons that occurred to me on the trail.

1. “The trail is always smarter than you are”. This is an old Jewish proverb that was in one of my trail books. You may think you know a better way but there is a reason that the trail is where it is.
2. There is no sustenance in the desert. No food, no water, no help. If you don’t rely on God you will die. It doesn’t matter how strong you are when you start the lack of water will kill you in days.
3. Trails are often unmarked for extended periods. Trust the direction. If there is a turn it will be marked.
4. Some trails can’t be hiked alone. There are trails that require help from fellow hikers.
5. The trail can change dynamics quickly. A breeze, some shade, afternoon sun, sharp rocks, sandy path all can quickly change. Life is the same.
6. All trails have obstacles. Some you go around, some over, others you trip on. Can’t avoid most obstacles. Just a part of the trail. Learn to rejoice in spite of the obstacles.
7. The difficulty of the trail is relative. What may be easy for one hiker may be a death march for another. The condition of the hiker and their health dictate the toughness of the trail. All things are relative. Continually condition for the trail.
8. The quickest way to reach the mountain peaks is to rest often and enjoy the view. Nose to the grindstone usually ends up with nose, head, and body laying exhausted on the grindstone. Can’t out hustle a mountain, rest is required.
9. The trail always looks better upon reflection. After the trail is hiked and you have a chance to reflect, all you remember is the good. The aches, pains and troubles are all but forgotten.

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