A Painful Lesson

Last week (July 25-31) I took a couple high school boys backpacking. We hiked a section of the Superior Hiking Trail along Lake Superior in NE Minnesota. It was a great trip! We were on the trail for 5 days…lots of beautiful scenery and time to connect with God.

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On the first day of the trip I developed a blister on my left heel. The second day, I developed a blister on my right heel. Not a good situation! I bandaged up my feet the best I could, but nothing seemed to work. There?s really not much you can do for heel blisters. I knew I had to just suck it up and deal with the pain.

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I know it sounds crazy, but I?m actually kind of thankful that I developed blisters. Here?s why:

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-It caused me to pray. I?m not exaggerating when I say that every step was painful. In order to keep my mind off the pain, I prayed…I prayed constantly. It had a similar effect to what fasting does, the physical reminding me to engage in the spiritual.

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-It helped me to reflect on suffering. As I suffered through my hiking trip, I thought about how often I suffer because of MY OWN decisions. In this case, I wasn?t prepared. I?ve never had problems with blisters before, and I wasn?t prepared to deal with it when I did have problems. Planning ahead and maybe buying a new pair of socks would have helped out a ton.

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-It was humbling. We covered a lot of miles on our trip and I trained hard for it. At the end of the day, it wasn?t my muscles or my back that were begging me to stop, it was my feet. It was humbling when I had to tell the boys I needed a break to rest my feet. All the training I?d done wouldn?t change the fact that my feet wouldn?t let me go any farther.

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While I wouldn?t wish blisters on anyone, and I certainly hope I don?t have to deal with them again, I?m thankful for how they helped me focus my heart and mind while I was on the trail.

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Grace,
?Chris