"We All Need Saving" - BYU Vocal Point
After a cross country move, I got to attend a church Girl's Camp in California when I was 11 (almost 12). Camp Liahona was a wonderful experience, as it brought together girls from several congregations, ages 12-18, for outdoor activities, crafts, and hiking. Each year, you would get to go on a progressively longer hike.
The fourth year hike, when I was 14 or 15, was a 17 mile hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Our plan was to hike up to the campsite and stay there for a few days and then hike back. This meant that we had to carry everything with us - food, mess kits, sleeping bags, clothes, etc. We had those big, official hiking backpacks filled with stuff to carry up - some of it our individual stuff, some of it for everyone.
If you knew me, you would know that I am not the best hiker - in other words, not in great physical shape. But I knew this hike was coming, and I honestly did try to prepare. I bought new hiking boots and broke them in taking walks around a loop through a nearby development that went up and down a mountainside. I weighed in with my backpack to make sure it wasn't too heavy.
Feeling pretty good, I set off with the group on the morning of the hike. Very quickly, it became apparent that I was the slowest hiker of the group. I fell far behind, and when the group would stop for a rest, I would catch up just in time for them to be ready to go. Kind leaders stayed behind to help me, sharing water when my canteen ran out and providing encouragement in difficult parts of the uphill climb. The scenery was beautiful and provided a respite during the moments we stopped.
After what seemed like years (probably just a few hours), we were almost there. All that remained was one last, steep hill. As I recall, it was only about three-fourths of a mile. However, I had reached the end of my rope, and simply didn't know if I could make it. Blisters had formed, and I was very very tired. Suddenly, a pig-tailed girl appeared, running down the hill. It was my friend "Jane" - she had already finished the hike, but knew that I was still coming, and she had run down to take my backpack from me so that I could make it to the top.
This simple experience means a lot to me (I'm tearing up as I write this). Jane had already reached the top. She could have rested, or gone swimming, or had something to eat. Instead, she turned around to save me in a moment of extreme need. To me, this is the Atonement of Christ. Jesus has gone on before, but turns back to help and save us in our moments of despair and desperation. Easter is a beautiful time to remember his sacrifice of love for each of us. Easter is not about bunnies, or chocolate, or Easter egg hunts. It is about the promise of a new beginning - a rescue from our fever blistered journey along life's path that seems arduous.Easter is about triumph after tragedy, hope after helplessness, and victory after vanquishment. I'm grateful to know that Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed! I hope we can find the beauty in the journey, be grateful for those who help us along the way, and Always remember Christ.
Okay, maybe Easter is a little bit about chocolate:
|My Easter Cake (yes, sometimes I like to pretend like I am five years old)|