The Comfortable Road

I really liked this post by Kelly Moreton.
It lends historical background to one of my favorite quotes.-TJ

(What I Learned from Meriwether Lewis)

While I was on vacation last month I read a book called Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose.  If you have never read a Stephen Ambrose book, I highly recommend it.  He is an incredible historian and a great story teller.  This particular book was about Lewis and Clark and their expedition across our continent.  Their goal was to find an all water route to the Pacific.  It is a fascinating story!

While the book is packed with great stories, quotes, and leadership principles, there was one part that really jumped out at me.  One thing that you need to know is that Lewis and Clark pictured the Rocky Mountains as a range similar to the Appalachian Mountains.  One long range, never reaching the 7,000 ft mark.  If you have ever seen the Rocky Mountains, or even seen a picture, they are not like that at all.
So after a year and a half of paddling up river, eating only meat (causing them to suffer from scurvy), suffering from dysentery, malaria, uncontrollable mosquitos, harsh winters, and pretty much anything else you can think of, Lewis finally caught his first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains.  Keep in mind, he had never even seen a picture of something like this and he was expecting the Appalachian Mountains.  Instead he sees snow covered peaks towering above the timberline.  They looked impassable.

As you can imagine, Lewis was discouraged.  They had come so far.  They had suffered so much.  And now, how were they ever going to get across those beasts of mountains?  But after his initial discouragement (which he noted in his journal), he rallied.  This was the next line in his journal:

As I have always held it a crime to anticipate evils, I will believe it a good comfortable road until I am compelled to believe differently.

This absolutely blew my mind.  I mean, if anyone had a right to be discourage, it was Lewis. But he would not have it.  He saw the truth in what seemed like an impossible situation.  The truth was that he did not know what was ahead.  He had never crossed the Rocky Mountains, and they weren’t there yet.  As far as he knew, it could be the smoothest part of the journey.  So he moved forward believing the best until the path proved differently.

What if we lived our lives like that?  We if we trusted God with what lies ahead, believing that He is with us and believing that He has good things for us?  Sometimes our future seems like the Rocky Mountains.  Sometimes our present feels like that really.  My challenge to you is to believe it a good, comfortable road, until it proves differently.  There is no need to fear what might happen.

About tjamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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