Some of you are at a point in your life journey where you have encountered an obstacle that has stopped your forward progress. You will have to go around the obstacle if you are to continue moving forward. The thought of what you must do to get around the obstacle seems overwhelming. A bit of history might help explain what you are about to encounter.
The mountain men of the early 1800s were a hearty breed. They lived constantly exposed to the harsh elements of the American West. Surviving that lifestyle bred men of grit. Many of them made their living trapping and selling fur. After loading heavy bales of fur into their large canoes, they would begin the grueling journey eastward to merchants who would buy their cargo and then sell the furs to waiting markets along the East Coast and Europe.
The large canoes the mountain men used were 30 feet in length and could carry upwards of 3,000 pounds of men, supplies, and fur. They weren’t the typical aluminum canoe you see at your local lake on a warm summer afternoon.
One of the problems encountered in these eastward journeys was coming to a point on the river where navigable water ends, and the canoe could no longer safely move forward. At this point, the canoe was emptied of all its occupants and contents. Both the canoe and its cargo were carried overland until the next navigable water appeared. On a typical eastward float this unloading-reloading process would take place many times. It was the nature of the journey.
Some of you feel like the mountain men of history. In the last couple of years, you have had to unload your life to get around a point of portage. You and those doing life with you are carrying an empty canoe and all its contents overland through an exhausting portage. Before this rough stretch, you thought the way forward would continue to be an easy drift downriver allowing a gentle current to move you forward. That idyllic idea has proven to be an illusion.
The roar of the rapids that stopped your forward progress will soon be behind you as you continue moving through the challenging terrain of this current portage. You and your traveling companions, though exhausted, are coming to the end of the portage. Stable water will soon appear. Once you see the way forward, you will begin to smile with anticipation as you begin to reload your life and get ready to enter the current of a new season.
With each portage that has taken place, you have grown stronger, and your faith has increased. A way forward will soon appear – a way forward you would not have thought possible had you not completed this current portage.