An excerpt from a letter I sent a friend.
More pictures and full description of 14 mile ride to follow at some point sometime.
I had an experience yesterday that I want to share with you. I was riding Nick up on the old Milwaukee rail trail that was put in in 1941. It's a super cool trail all through the Butte Highlands, and because it was a rail trail there is a relatively easy gradient and it's wide and well kept. There are also two tunnels and a bridge over an 160ft crevasse. Last week I rode through the first tunnel. Yesterday I rode the whole trail and a few extra miles besides. I came up on the second tunnel and from the distance I thought it would be shorter than the first, because from a distance- the physics makes the image from the other side project like a camera obscura almost- so that looking in- the exit is almost the same size as the entrance. Easy I thought. We'll be through this in a minute. Well it was not shorter than the first tunnel. It was much much longer. As you start in the light from behind makes it so you can still see a little, but as you get farther and farther inside, the light from behind fades and it's darker than the inside of a cat. I could not see the walls. I could not see Nick beneath me. I could hear our footsteps but that was it. I think that was the closest I have ever come to complete and utter darkness. And when it's that dark, you can't see proportionally, you can't see how far you've come or how far you have more to go. All you can see is the tiny tiny light that is the exit. Horses have better eyesight in the dark than humans, so for the previous tunnel I had counted on Nick's ability to navigate- but he was stumbling. He couldn't even see his feet. So to keep us straight and get to the other side I watched that tiny light with more focus than I think id ever given anything. I kept it in the center of my vision and kicked Nick on. We stayed straight. We watched the light. And after approximately an eternity we came out the other side into the beautiful connifer forest. I had the thought- this is how we are in our troubles, when we get into trouble we don't get the privilege of knowing how long they will last or the complete nature of them because the darkness is so accute. But. If we keep our eyes on the light, and the hope of Christ, and move straight on the narrow path, we are assured in Christ that we will reach the other side. We don't get to know when or how, but the only thing that can pierce that darkness is the light of Christ and he has promised a safe passage.
Set your minds on the things that are above not on the things that are on Earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears then you also will appear with him in glory.
1 Thessalonians 5:5-11
For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep... For God has not destined us for wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Who dies for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up just as you are doing.
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight the paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone and for holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
He has told you oh man what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Hey. I may make a Sunday school teacher yet.
maybe you could use my analogy in your book since it has tunnels.
The last picture is of Nick over an 160 foot crevasse looking for all the world bored out of his mind. He is much braver than I. "I've crossed bridges hundreds of times- what's another to me?" Quite the change in a horse that used to think butterflies and streetsigns were scary.
Please call sometime. I'm available in the evenings always.