Even when led by the still small voice of our perfect God, real life messes are unavoidable; we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world.
The hike was sold out for the entire year in just two hours. Last year it took two weeks. Obviously, the world is becoming aware of this unadvertised secret wonder of God’s creation.
By the end of the day, I had finally heard back from everyone on the team that the dates I reserved worked with their schedules. I reserved a cabin in Sedona where we would stay for the first 4 nights of our retreat. I also booked a hotel closer to the rim, three hours from Sedona, where we would stay for one night prior and one night after our hike.
The retreat in Sedona was amazing. Our schedule was to wake up in the morning and study the book of James together then head out to view the sights between 12 and 2pm each day. After a nice afternoon enjoying Sedona, we cooked dinner then made memories through enjoyable conversation and laughter. The night before checking out, we practiced putting up our tents and packed our backpacks eliminating any extra weight so we were prepared for the hike.
The hotel that we stayed in near the rim was on an Indian Reservation. I had never been in such a remote area. We had no cell service and the only thing that was around was a small general store and a gas station. The restaurant in the hotel was the only restaurant on the entire reservation. Land, more land, then more land was all there was as far as the naked eye could see.
It was still dark when we began to the drive to the rim. There was no sign of life for 90 miles as we drove for an hour and a half farther into desolation. How could there be so much land with no life on it? Words are hard to find to express the feelings I was experiencing; it felt frightening, thrilling, and uncertain all at the same time, as if I had gone to bed and awoken in the middle of the Land of the Lost.
Following were the thoughts that were going through my mind:
My family has no idea where I am.
What if we get a flat tire?
How do we call for help if we are in need?
Did we plan well enough for this?
We hadn’t even started the hike but we had started the adventure and I could tell from the drive that we were headed for an exploration that was going to be life changing.