Celebrate Recovery - Uncategorized

Never Settle for “Good Enough”

A few weeks ago, my family and I hiked a common trail on the Kenai Peninsula, known for it’s spectacular views. Unlike myself, my family are not hiking fans. The prospect of walking through the woods for hours just to turn around and go back to the beginning doesn’t appeal to their sense of adventure. However, they agreed to start hiking more this summer, so out we went on our first hike of the year.

The beginning of our hiking journey at the trailhead.

At the trail head, we were all excited. New beginnings are often filled with mystery and adventure, even if it is just another “boring” hike. We began our trek with much energy and high spirits, excited for what waited ahead of us along the trail.

The trail started off with minimal incline, taking us across a frozen stream and through a mystical forest. We barely noticed the gradual incline as we happily trudged along. As the trees thinned out and the trail continued it’s upward advance, the novelty soon wore off for us all. The trail began requiring significant effort on our part, as we continued our journey through the Alaskan flora and fauna.

About two-thirds of the way to the overlook at the trail’s end, we came upon a resting place with an amazing view. We stopped and had a quick snack, where my hiking partners proceeded to try and talk me into turning around. Although I have to admit the view was amazing, I knew that what lie ahead of us was even better. Despite never hiking this trail before, I had heard of the great view and knew that it would be worth it. So, despite the pressure to turn around because what we had accomplished was “good enough”, I insisted that we continue on.

Part way to our goal.

Almost immediately after continuing on, the trail became much harder. Parts of the trail were still snow-packed, which made footing difficult and slippery in the afternoon sun. When we closed in on the top, we found ourselves walking on a packed trail of snow, surrounded by unpacked snow still a couple of feet deep. Any misstep resulted in falling knee-high in snow.

Eventually, we made it to the end of the trail, which was at the very top of a ridge line looking out over the still-frozen lake and the mountain range. A bald eagle sat a couple hundred feet away, checking out his surroundings and probably looking for something to eat.

As I took in the view and basked in the fruit of our hard work, it occurred to me how easily I could have been swayed to turn around before reaching the top. I could have easily stopped at our part-way snack point, taken the pictures and shared them with my friends, and they would have commented on how beautiful it was and how nice my pictures are.

I could have gone home satisfied with a “good enough” hike, and that would have been okay. Not knowing what awaited me a the end, I wouldn’t have known what I was missing, and neither would my friends who would have complimented my journey.

However, once I reached my goal at the end of the trail, I knew that I had made the right decision for myself. The sense of accomplishment in knowing that I persevered and finished what I set out to do was  rewarding enough- but then there was that view! Suddenly all the hard work was worth it.

On the trek back down the trail, I was struck with the similarity between my hiking experience and my life experience. How often have I settled in my life for “good enough” when I could have achieved so much more? How often have I just done the minimum to get by in life, when greatness could have been achieved had I only persisted? Most importantly, how many times have I allowed God in my life “just enough” room so that things become “good enough”, when He had so much more in store for me?

People most often settle moments before they reach true greatness. When the going gets tough and we aren’t sure if the summit will be worth it, will we settle for what we’ve already achieved, or will we press on to the finish?

Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” When we give up, when we quit before we have completed the task that God has put before us, we run the risk of missing out on something great that God had in store for our lives.

I encourage you to not give up climbing whatever mountain you might be facing in your life today. The hard work, the sweat and tears, will all be worth it in the end.

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” -Philippians 3:12-14

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