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The Climb

Driving across the Great Plains towards Scottsbluff in western Nebraska, my wife and I couldn’t help but stare at the awe-inspiring sight of two massive rock pillars reaching to the sky. We eventually saw a sign pointing toward that direction and learned they were famous landmarks, ‘Courthouse and Jail Rocks,’ used by those traveling the Oregon-California Trail, Mormon Trail, and the Pony Express Trail. We spontaneously decided to venture off our predetermined course to take a closer look.

We parked the car at the base of the giant rock pillars and noticed a small foot path. Being the adventurous type, we set out and were eager to explore. We hiked on the path until we reached the closest rock ledge. The terrain began to change so we assisted each other up the clay and sandstone slopes. This was like real rock climbing! It was very dangerous, no one else was around and we were in the middle of nowhere! What were we thinking?! About three quarters of the way up, we reached a landing plateau. The sights overlooking the plains below were breathtaking. But not the sounds…

The loudest, scariest and eeriest screech I’ve ever heard bellowed out from within the rocks about 15 feet away. We both froze. My heart raced as I instinctively put myself between the location of the sound and my wife, not turning away from the direction of the sound. Something was not happy we were there. As I glanced around to see if Kristen was ok, she was nowhere in sight. Dust was flying as she was already halfway down the side of the rock! I yelled, “What are you doing?” She shouted back, “I’m not sticking around to see what made that sound!” I stared intently and saw a Golden Eagle with a flock of babies on the nest. Golden Eagles stand 30-40” tall with a wingspan of 80-88” and can kill large prey and domestic livestock. I did not want to mess with that, so I slowly backed away then descended as fast as I could.

When I caught up with Kristen at the bottom, I asked why she left me all alone with that giant bird. She said, “I don’t know! I just panicked! I was so scared!” This often happens in marriage too. When things get tough as the monsters of life come at us, we all react differently. Some people run from trouble and don’t want to face it, others tackle it head on. But tough times can actually strengthen our relationship. They give us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and each other. We gain insights and information that can be helpful when the next troubling circumstance comes screeching at us. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring but we do know that, together, we can climb any mountain with God on our side.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 ~ A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

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