Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Dancing at the Pour-off

Camping is fun ... as long as I don't have to sleep on the ground, lol. In the mid 1990s my husband and I bought a WV Westphalia pop-up Camper van and we traveled across the USA at the southern tier. We fell in love with Texas, and especially Big Bend National Park.


Here we are in the Chisos campground. Yes, we brought our cat. Hiking and exploring was part of the allure, and in examining the trail brochures, one day we decided one day to hike the Window trail.
The Window Trail is a 5.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Terlinguo, Texas that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The Window Trail begins near the Chisos Basin lodge, descending 800 feet over about two miles through rolling hills and vertical rock walls to a narrow pouroff, which overlooks the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert. The trail is usually dry, but the pouroff area is very dangerous during flash-floods. Source

We were strongly warned, very strongly, not to step too close to The Window, which is an opening in the mountains to a view over the desert. Very high up. The continual water at what's called The 'pour-off' had smoothed the rocks at the pour-off and it was slippierer than it looked, even in dry conditions. The drop is thousands of feet.

Not my photo."The Window is a slit in Chisos Mountain Ranges where one could
glimpse the Chihauhuan Desert plain below. " Source
I am a bit hesitant in heights and a scaredy cat in general, so I heeded the warnings and stayed back. My husband thought it was funny to go closer and do a dance. Ha. Ha.


We were warned how fast the fall could happen, even if you're wearing appropriate footwear. The rocks are smooth as glass, they provided no traction and no grip. It was pure luck he didn't fall.

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When you're saved, your eyes are opened and you realize there is no such thing as luck. The LORD has numbered the days of each person on earth. We are immortal until that day arrives. However, the walk is still slippery. Any Christian could fall at any time, me included. And unlike in other life experiences where the longer you go the easier it gets due to your accumulated experience, in Christian life, the longer you go the harder it gets.

This is because we increasingly mourn over our and others' sin. Or we get casual and then comes Jesus' chastisement in order to grow us. Or we love people more and become sensitive to their burdens. There are lots of reasons why life with Jesus grows sweeter, but harder.

The Bible warns of the way of the slip. He who thinks that apart from Jesus he has sure footing is likely due for a slip. These verses make it clear that our ultimate security in Christ is permanent, but our walk is fraught with temptations and dangers. Take care not to temporarily slip.

They will lift you up in their hands, so you will not slip and fall on a stone. (Psalm 91:12)

My steps have held fast to Your paths. My feet have not slipped. (Psalm 17:5)

He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber; (Psalm 121:3).

For all that, Paul warns the Christian,

Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)

I think of the dance at the edge of The Window where the pour-off was so slippery. Do we treat sin that way? Dance up to the edge of it, abusing God's grace and tempting the devil?

We have to do our part. Resist sin, follow His commands. A true Christian can never irrevocably fall from grace, but we can slip and fall into sin. Over-confidence can be an enemy.

Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. (James 1:13-15).

I was listening to Martyn Lloyd Jones yesterday. He was talking about the simplicity of the Gospel and clarity of the Gospel life. Sometimes we over-complicate things, making them out to be more opaque than they are. Life in Christ is simple, very simple. Resist sin, do not tempt it, and heed the Bible's commands.

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it. (Genesis 4:7).



4 comments:

  1. Ok, I know it's not a mariner vignette... but all the same. You definitely have a gift. You take the stories from your days when you traveled extensively and marry them beautifully to powerful spiritual truths. Totally book material. :)

    -Carolyn

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    1. Thank you Carolyn! Maybe some day I will put them all into a book... :) thanks for encouraging me.

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  2. You have had such impressive adventures! I love how your cat came on the trip. :)

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    1. Thanks, lol! We had to take the cat. She was a crazy beast. No family member, no friend and no kennel would accept her. Strangely, we discovered the noise and vibration of the diesel VW engine seemed to calm her! I think it was like a white noise that canceled her normal stress she always felt. The same thing happened when we took her on our 21 foot Sea Ray motorboat up the coast from Naples FL to RI. The minute we turned on the engine, she curled up and sweetly slept through it all.

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