Blog

57http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2011/07/Rabbi-Lyon%27s-Blog---07_22_2011
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 07_22_2011
07/20/2011 03:43 PM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon
July 22, 2011

This past week, we were in the mountains visiting dear friends. Everyday we planned to try new activities and see new sights. One day we agreed to “hike Ajax”, one of the most challenging hikes in town. We did a vertical climb of 3,267 feet. The top of Ajax is exactly 11,212 feet and the base of the mountain is 7,945 feet. From all appearances, we were prepared. We had backpacks, water, food, sunscreen, and enthusiasm. Thankfully, nothing ran out during the hike, not even our enthusiasm. But, there were rough patches along the way.

                Rising 3,300 feet in elevation slowed us down as we took more time to catch our breath and re-oxygenate ourselves. Then, urging each other on, we put one foot in front of the other and continued. Younger hikers passed us by in both directions. Some carried only water and no food, and others ran past us on what seemed to be their morning jog. We waved to some as they hustled past us. To others we called out, “How much farther?” “Is it much longer to the top?” They were honest. “You’re about 2/3 of the way,” and “Just two more pushes and you’ll be there.” The six of us trudged on. When we needed rest, we waited for each other, and spots of shade up ahead became short goals and rest stops along the way.

                At one turn, we saw a white patch on the side of the trail. We looked and wondered and then realized that even in mid-July, it was real snow. Lisa and I made our way off the trail to reach the large mound of snow left over from winter. It was dirty on top, but we dug in our hands and scooped up enough to throw a few snowballs at each other and our friends. We even took some of it and put it down our shirts and on our skin for a quick cool down.

                The well-marked trail continued. Our eyes, however, were set on the gondola that rose higher into the mountains. The goal was to reach the gondola station at the top, and ride it down for free which would be our reward for all our hard work. However, the gondola and the wire it followed seemed to reach over the mountains going higher and farther away. How could it be? Will we ever make it? Closer to the top, a small jeep approached us on its way down. Two men in the jeep slowed to answer our questions, “How far are we from the top?” and “How much for the jeep?” But, as it approached, the driver slowed and said, “Hey, Rabbi Lyon!” I couldn’t believe it. Even at nearly 11,000 feet, tired, sunburned, and sore, I was reminded that none of us is ever far from who we are and what we do. It was satisfying to see a Beth Israel member, a friend, and one who could account for my presence on the mountain in case of my absence.

                Finally, the summit was in sight. Our pace grew slower and slower. Our calves ached. The air was thinner. Young 20-somethings played Frisbee nearby on the mountainside. We stared in awe at their ability to run, breathe, and balance at the same time. Yet, we weren’t discouraged. Indeed, the lodge was in sight and so was the gondola station. We arrived. We sat down. We rested. We drank some juice and shared conversations with fellow hikers about survival, elevation, and our achievement. Pictures followed with views of the panoramic sights and vistas. It was literally and figuratively breathtaking. We didn’t delay on the mountainside. It was time for the free gondola ride down the mountain and on to lunch at 8,200 feet, practically sea-level for us.

                Ultimately, we agreed that the hike was a benchmark for us. In difficult physical, emotional or spiritual times in the future, we can remember when we hiked Ajax, and push on to accomplish goals we need to reach, no matter what. As Shabbat nears, your own personal hikes, whatever they might be, require enormous personal resources, too. Some say that “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle,” and I believe it. There are gifts that God has implanted in us that aren’t revealed until we need them. We don’t have to look for them only on the mountains, but they are there, too. Because I’m never doing that hike again, I’m grateful that we can find the gifts we need much closer to home. They are found in the presence of our family and friends and in our hearts, for sustenance, courage, blessings and peace.

                From my family to yours, Shabbat Shalom.

Blog Search

Categories

Archives

201806June2
June 2018 (2)
201805May3
May 2018 (3)
201804April4
April 2018 (4)
201803March5
March 2018 (5)
201802February4
February 2018 (4)
201801January4
January 2018 (4)
201712December4
December 2017 (4)
201711November2
November 2017 (2)
201710October2
October 2017 (2)
201708August3
August 2017 (3)
201707July4
July 2017 (4)
201706June4
June 2017 (4)
201705May2
May 2017 (2)
201704April3
April 2017 (3)
201703March4
March 2017 (4)
201702February3
February 2017 (3)
201701January3
January 2017 (3)
201612December4
December 2016 (4)
201611November3
November 2016 (3)
201610October3
October 2016 (3)
201609September4
September 2016 (4)
201608August2
August 2016 (2)
201607July5
July 2016 (5)
201606June2
June 2016 (2)
201605May3
May 2016 (3)
201604April4
April 2016 (4)
201603March3
March 2016 (3)
201602February2
February 2016 (2)
201601January4
January 2016 (4)
201512December4
December 2015 (4)
201511November3
November 2015 (3)
201510October2
October 2015 (2)
201509September2
September 2015 (2)
201508August4
August 2015 (4)
201507July5
July 2015 (5)
201506June4
June 2015 (4)
201505May2
May 2015 (2)
201504April5
April 2015 (5)
201503March3
March 2015 (3)
201502February4
February 2015 (4)
201501January4
January 2015 (4)
201412December3
December 2014 (3)
201411November3
November 2014 (3)
201410October4
October 2014 (4)
201409September2
September 2014 (2)
201408August3
August 2014 (3)
201407July3
July 2014 (3)
201406June3
June 2014 (3)
201405May3
May 2014 (3)
201404April4
April 2014 (4)
201403March3
March 2014 (3)
201402February4
February 2014 (4)
201401January5
January 2014 (5)
201312December3
December 2013 (3)
201311November3
November 2013 (3)
201310October4
October 2013 (4)
201309September2
September 2013 (2)
201308August5
August 2013 (5)
201307July4
July 2013 (4)
201306June4
June 2013 (4)
201305May5
May 2013 (5)
201304April4
April 2013 (4)
201303March4
March 2013 (4)
201302February4
February 2013 (4)
201301January5
January 2013 (5)
201212December4
December 2012 (4)
201211November5
November 2012 (5)
201210October4
October 2012 (4)
201209September2
September 2012 (2)
201208August5
August 2012 (5)
201207July4
July 2012 (4)
201206June3
June 2012 (3)
201205May5
May 2012 (5)
201204April4
April 2012 (4)
201203March5
March 2012 (5)
201202February4
February 2012 (4)
201201January4
January 2012 (4)
201112December5
December 2011 (5)
201111November3
November 2011 (3)
201110October3
October 2011 (3)
201109September4
September 2011 (4)
201108August4
August 2011 (4)
201107July3
July 2011 (3)
201106June4
June 2011 (4)
201105May4
May 2011 (4)
201104April4
April 2011 (4)
201103March5
March 2011 (5)
201102February4
February 2011 (4)
201101January4
January 2011 (4)
201012December5
December 2010 (5)
201011November4
November 2010 (4)
201010October5
October 2010 (5)
201009September2
September 2010 (2)
201008August2
August 2010 (2)
201006June3
June 2010 (3)
201005May5
May 2010 (5)
201004April3
April 2010 (3)
Captavi QixSuite™ - Hosted Marketing Automation Software ©