People climb mountains for all kinds of reasons. To gain clarity or perspective, to challenge themselves, to see the natural beauty of the world around them, or to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Some people climb actual mountains, and some people climb really big hills that just feel like mountains. I for one like to climb really big hills, surrounded by mountains, and tell myself that I’ve climbed a mountain. One such time was when a group of us camp staff went out hiking in the Ya-Ha Tinda.
Now I can see why people like to go hiking, I mean it’s breathtaking being out there in the middle of creation. In my mind there are two groups of people who say that they like to go hiking; there’s the “super outdoorsy, lets climb a mountain and ford this stream” group, and then there’s the “why are we always going uphill, I didn’t sign up for this” group. I will probably always be a lifelong member of the second group, and as such I will forever be at the very back of any hiking group. This held very true for our day trip to the Ya-Ha, as I was always well behind the rest of the group. However what was great was that I had a couple of friends who hung back with me even though I know that they could’ve easily been with the first group; and we had some great conversations. During one of these conversations I was asked the following question:
“What do you want to get out of Germany?”
This question made me think, because it wasn’t really something that I had ever thought about in depth before. I mean I wanted to go to Germany to experience a different culture, to learn German, and to see all of my German friends again. But was there something deeper that I was hoping to get out of this trip than eating pretzels and learning how to say “spoon” in German (which for the record is the one word that I will probably never be able to say properly)? The short answer is yes, there are deeper things that I want to experience while I’m over there. The long answer is this:
What I’ve come to realize is that I am very comfortable with where I’m at right now. I have a great job, good friends, and everything is going well. The only problem is that I’m too comfortable. I’ve become so complacent in my life that I don’t allow for God to come and challenge me to trust him anymore. So I’ve decided to put myself into a situation where everything is totally different than what I’ve done before. Now you might be saying to yourself “But Katherina, don’t you think moving to Germany is a little bit extreme?” and you would be correct, but hey go big or go home. I could take the easier way and just find a new job or move somewhere else in the city, but that feels too safe. I’d still have all of my friends around and I’d still be in a familiar place, and it’d be far to easy to get comfortable again and not trust God anymore. So that’s why I’m moving across the ocean. I want to be in a place where I’m vulnerable and uncomfortable so that I don’t have anything else to do except trust in God.
I want to come out of this experience more connected to God, and with a willingness to go where he leads and do what he wants me to do. Not only that but to be able to say that if I’ve already done this one scary thing, so what’s stopping me from doing the next “scary” thing that God’s calling me to?
These were all thoughts that I had while walking uphill for what seemed like an eternity so I could get to a freezing cold lake. I guess that sometimes you just need to get away from your daily routine to gain a little bit of perspective… and a whole bunch of mosquito bites…and some really great memories.