Yesterday I went mountain biking and I made a big mistake! Now that the park is closing earlier, we were not able to park where we sometimes do at the trail head. We only had an hour to ride, so we decided to park at the bottom and take the connector trail up to the main trails that we wanted to ride.
Let me tell you something, the connector trail is one tough trail in itself! I had to huff it up to the top, and then when I got to where the trails were located, I wasn’t quite sure which way to go because you have to go in certain directions- on certain days. I had never taken the connector trail on a Tuesday before, so it was not familiar to me. I could see the path that I had done a couple of days ago to my left, but I did not feel I would have enough time to ride it, so I hopped over a log to look at a sign hanging on a tree to see which way I should going on a Tuesday- and off I went.
As I was going down the trail, I sensed something was not right. Everything seemed off to me and alarms were sounding inside. After a few minutes of going down the trail, the parking lot suddenly came into my view and I felt sick inside! I had totally taken the other side of the connector trail back to the parking lot! Yes, I was going in the right direction, and I was on the right trail that I had intended to ride…only I had skipped the rest of the entire trail itself. I should have looked at the sign to the left of me, but I didn’t because all I was thinking to myself is, “that trail goes to TNT and I definitely don’t have time to ride that because it is the longest and hardest trail to do.” I totally had forgotten that it was part of the trail for Black Forrest, the very trail I had intended riding!
You see, I made this mistake because I was pressed for time. I wanted to get in a decent mountain bike ride, but I knew that I did not have time to go onto the TNT trail. I am not good enough yet to ride the whole trail in the short amount of time that I had to ride it in. I have ridden that trail many times, but only on the weekends . I know my time constraints, and I also know my physical limitations. Instead of taking time to see which direction I should go, I looked at only one directional sign instead of looking at both.
We do this many times in life. All of us have ideas and dreams of where we should be in different stages of our lives, but often we do not take the time to stop and look at all the signs. Maybe God gave you a dream and showed you that you were like Jeremiah the prophet to bring forth His word on the earth or you are like Queen Esther and will bring delieverace to His people. Maybe you always felt you would be the next best-selling book author. Whatever the dream may be, or whatever was spoken over your life, never forget to stop and ask God to show you the direction you should go.
Don’t be in such a rush to get to your destination that you miss all the signs that are pointing to which trail you should take. Sometimes, you may need to take connector trails to get you from point A to point B of your destiny, and those very connections can be very difficult for you. Some connections can cause you to question everything you have ever believed about your destiny, but at the same time, they will bring a strength to you that you never knew you had. A lot of times, connector trails can start off going straight up and have switchback curves along the way. It is going to take all of your strength to keep going. These are the times we have to dig deep within ourselves, and resolve to set our face like flint and not look or turn back.
God will bring us many connector trails in our life to get us to where He wants us to be. It could be connections at work, ministry, or covenant relationships. Some of these connections will not be what you are used to. They will be bumpy along the way because of exposed roots and gravel. Often, rocks will appear right in the middle of the trail and you will have to go over them, or remove them completely in order to continue on. The thing is this, you can’t give up just because it gets hard. You have a destiny to fulfill. There will be times when you are on the trail where you will get tired, and that’s okay. Stop and take a drink of water and eat something for energy. This will cause strength to come back inside of you and cause you to be refreshed enough to continue your journey. In John 4:10-14, Jesus speaks to the woman at the well and tells her that He is the living water and if we drink from Him, we will never thirst again. (my paraphrase) In John 6:35, it says “Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Never be so focused on the finish line or the ultimate destination of your dream that you forget to stop and commune with your Father, the very one that created your destiny! When you fellowship with Him and spend time in His presence, you will find the strength you need to continue your journey. If you happen to miss it and the connector trail you find yourself on is leading in the wrong direction, don’t worry! It’s not over!
Even though the connector trail is difficult, and you may not want to do it again, remember this: It always loops back around and you can keep going until you need to change directions. When you go back around it again, you will be stronger in body, soul, mind, and spirit.
I am so thankful that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me so much, that even though I have missed the right trail at times, He has never left me one time. Instead, He is right there with me helping my tires stick to the ground as I go on the same connector trail. He teaches me along the way and gives me strength to overcome the roots and the rocks on my path that ultimately lead to my destination.
When I am riding my bike on the trails, God teaches me so much, and I love it. Being out there in the woods is so beautiful, and even though riding can be difficult and challenging at times, I always feel close to my Father when I am on my mountain bike in the woods.