Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Navigator On The Way

This is a repost of one of my first blog entries, when I began publishing my journal here on Blogspot as well as at my Carepage location, in October of last year. I learned the hard way that I can not edit an entry once it has been published. To do so makes it disappear from the archives. So please forgive me for posting this again.

I attended the Pages (writers group) meeting at my new church this week.  I have been so blessed and inspired there! One of the exercises we did was to explore the new art exhibit in The Gallery@ Common Grounds Coffee Bar: "the gathering place, where emerging and established artists share their creative expressions". We were instructed to choose a piece of artwork and write about it. I chose a photograph titled: The Way. I would like to share what flowed out through the inspiration from the photo.

Cairns on the trail leading to the summit at Mount Washington in New Hampshire

This photograph depicts the path stretching from the Lake Of The Clouds, to the summit of Mount Washington, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It is the highest point on the east coast and has a reputation for having the worst weather in the world. My late husband and I hiked that path one summer day and saw the piles of rocks called cairns, pictured in the foreground and along the length of the trail.

I'm sure the stony stacks have guided many a weary traveler and thru-hiker who needed a sense of direction across the sea of boulders. These beacons will always be of critical significance,  just as importantly as a lighthouse on a rocky shore; especially if a fog would move in suddenly and the way wouldn't be obvious. Confusion would be life-threatening in that hostile setting! Certainly, if a fog or cover of snow would arrive suddenly, the hiker would have no way to get their bearings without the assistance of the trail marking rock pillars jutting out of the ocean of rocky obstacles.

Cairns are critical to navigate the trail in foggy conditions such as this!

There is a warning sign posted at the beginning of the most treacherous part of the trail that cautions the traveler to turn back now if the weather is bad. It also explained that many people had lost their lives because they weren't adequately prepared for their journey. We traveled to the highest point via the cograil on our honeymoon in mid-October, 13 years ago and encountered blinding horizontal snow and had to make a run for the observation building. Survival hinges on careful planning and preparation, as unforeseen, forbidding weather is always a threat at that elevation.

Warning posted on the trail. Weather is a very serious matter at this elevation!

Sometimes, the way feels uncertain as we journey through life, not just in widowhood, but in any personal circumstances. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. (John 14:6). Drawing a parallel between these photos and Jesus being "The Way" are welcome reminders that listening to the wisdom that Jesus offers us in His Word is the "only Way" to get to our desired destination safely. That being: spending all of eternity with Him, because we placed our Faith and Trust in Him. We can be confident that He will guide and help navigate as we journey through our lives, if we take the warnings in His Word seriously and if we remember His unconditional love for each of us.  I am so thankful that I have that assurance that God's Word is Truth for my future as well as the gift of Peace for each new day!



  1. What a great illustration of Jesus as the Way. He's my Rock and my salvation. I'd read about Mt. Washington, but I hadn't heard about the cairns. Now I'll never hear of it again without remembering what you've written here Renee. Life is as unpredictable as the path up Mt. Washington and we need the Lord's guidance!

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by, Ferree! I'm so thankful that we can place our confidence in the Lord to guide us along this rugged but doable journey called life, as we place our trust in Him! Traveling without Him would be like climbing Mt. Washington with a blindfold! The thought makes me shiver!