Life’s Dark Trails

The trail was very dark, the sky lit with stars. With a small silver flashlight in hand, I could only see two or three steps in front of me, but well enough to know I was quickly falling behind the very fast and fit group of hikers whom I had come with. I had hiked Mt. Timpanogos before, when I was younger, but never with a group of complete strangers and at the very late (or early) hour of midnight. My quick and jagged breaths made futile any intentions I had of talking to the cute boy behind me, and I quickly regretted not having slept more in preparation for this feat.

It was quite an experience being on a trail in the pitch black of night not knowing how far I had nor how much farther I still had to go. Here I was, surrounded by people I did not know, except for my roommate who had invited me, unable to speak and too afraid to be the one who asked for a break. So I moved forward, with no view of where I was going and only my thoughts to keep me company.

Self ImprovementThere’s something eerily similar between midnight hikes and life. In this world we are shrouded in darkness with only a vague idea of how far we’ve come and little to no understanding of what’s to come. Our perceptions are often warped, thinking we have come five miles when really we’ve only gone three. Yet we continue onward with the sunrise in our sights. It’s much like faith: we do not see the sunrise; we have not experienced it for ourself yet, but we know it will come. The question is, will we come? Will we continue on this difficult journey with only small stars of light and little flashlights to guide us?

Truly, the sun has already risen. Coming down the trail, I saw all I had traversed. All this time, I had been surrounded by exquisite creations and views. The journey was beautiful; I just couldn’t see it at the time. Someday we will be able to see our lives with the glory and vision of the sunrise. We will see how truly wonderful this world is and what marvelous plans Heavenly Father has made for us. We will understand the beauty of the trail in it’s fullest, made possible by the sacrifice of One.


—Jessica Olsen, Editor, Stance