I'm covered in silky white threads of web. They zigzag their way up my shirt and over my shoulders. It feels like there's a hair tickling my neck, but I can't quite reach far enough to swipe it away with my fingertips. Webs. Any of you who like to hike know exactly what I'm talking about.
Those (tiny, little) monster spiders fling themselves from branch to branch, stretching their sticky death traps across the path in hopes of a meal. That is, until my face collides with all them. I picture the little tyrants cursing me as I demolish their handiwork, one web after another along the way.
"Good thing you're the trailblazer today, Mom. I hate those things," yells my little guy from behind.
The word in itself suggests courage and risk. It can be a scary one, really. Have you wondered how it might be possible to claim that word in your own life? What would it look like to be a trailblazer?
1. A trailblazer is more prepared than we realize. She looks to the future and plans the trip accordingly.
Not even Lewis and Clark travelled across America completely blind to the geological challenges they were going to face. Though they were skilled navigators and mapmakers, they often relied on Native American maps and the trail guides they met at trading posts.*
These guides helped them to take routes through the terrain that were appropriate to their skill level and most importantly, safe for the entire group. They didn't step out into the wilderness and yell, "Ok, God! Here we are, unprepared and vulnerable...don't let us die!"
It's often our perception that we're alone when we step into new things. It's a lie. God always goes before us, even when it doesn't seem like it*. He also places people in our lives to go the distance with us and to give us sound advice*.
2. She isn't afraid to make a mistake or to be a little uncomfortable.
Maybe our lives seem boring. Maybe we haven't contemplated trying anything new in a long time. Maybe it's even time to ask ourselves why that may be true! We don't have to travel across a continent to take a step out in faith. Make a new friend. Try a sport. Volunteer. Learning and discovery come in all shapes in sizes and at every stage of life. Sometimes being a trailblazer requires being less into our public image or simply being knocked out of our own apathy.
Is it time to take a next step?
3. She isn't deterred by a little sweat and learns from the challenge of the hills. She doesn't have to compare the size of her mountain to somebody else's.
I used to tease my little sister about her anti-sweat stance when it came to sports. She's not-so-much the "exercise enthusiast" and a whole lot more "foodie with a great recipe". When it comes to hard work in other areas though, she's all in. Her trail looks different from mine, but both are new and beautiful when we step onto them!
As trailblazers, we can't be afraid to labor. It's uncomfortable, sure. New. Hard even. But, how energizing and fulfilling to give our very best to God! It seems redundant to be reminded to "do our best." Though, if we're not careful, the ebb and flow of our days will lull us into mediocrity without our notice.
I assure you, there'll be spiders along the path laid out before you. But there will also be a renewed sense of adventure and accomplishment added to your days!! What's your next challenge? We'd love to hear about it!
Getting "webbed" together,
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deut. 31:8, NIV)*
"Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise." (Prov. 19:20, NIV)*
*Smithsonian Institution and EdGate.com, Inc., http://www.edgate.com/lewisandclark/mapping_on_trail.html
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.