The Journey to Worlds End

The Journey to Worlds End

Catching your breath at a pristine vista. Sitting on a picnic table near a clear, bubbling stream. Your face dripping with perspiration as you push on up a steep rocky slope. The feeling of the cool damp air on your skin as you wander through a labyrinth of boulders covered in lichen and ferns. These were just a few of the experiences we enjoyed this year for our anniversary. David and I drove an hour and a half to new uncharted territory. Worlds End State Park.

David and I have discovered that we need adventure in our lives. We need to make the time to go to places we’ve never been or revisit areas that we forgot we loved. Life gets loud, crazy, and stressful. Sometimes we need to take a trip away from our normal “world” and journey to the “end” or the the fringes away from the core of our normal lives where things are just too loud. The funny thing is we don’t realize how much we need that adventure until we embark. As we drive, the sounds of demands, obligations, schedules, work conflicts, and to-do lists fade away. Those voices soon turn to static and gradually loose bars like our cell phone service. Yep, its quiet out here and something deep inside me sighs.

We started our day a little later than we intended, but it was a beautiful day for a drive. The sun shone brightly as we followed our GPS further and further away from civilization. We turned onto dirt roads with dark forests on each side and it really did feel like we were in the middle of nowhere. We followed the signs to the Visitors Center, parked our car, and walked a short distance to a picnic table overlooking Loyalsock Creek. As we munched on our sandwiches, we studied the map we picked up at the Visitor’s Center. We decided to drive up to the Loyalsock Canyon Vista and hike some adjoining trails from there. We enjoyed standing at the vista viewing the mountain ranges that went on and on, one after another, like green waves in a gentle sea. We then took the Canyon Vista Trail, which skirted along the edge of the canyon, and then onto the Cold Run Trail.

According to the map, there were several waterfalls along the Cold Run Trail, but being such a dry year we weren’t sure if there would be enough water running to make the falls more than a trickle. We decided to hike that way to find out. The path boasted another opportunity to view the canyon at a lookout called Prospect Rock. We spent a few minute there sitting on the large rock, cooling off and catching our breath for it was a hot and sticky day.

Along that winding and rocky Cold Run Trail we came across what we called the Rock Labyrinth. We came up to it quite suddenly; large boulders taller than David, placed at all angles with pathways between them. The moss and lichen covered rocks were topped with ferns and some even had trees growing on the surface of the rocks. As our trail meandered through this maze we could feel the temperature drop by several degrees. It was such a neat place to explore, for as you trekked along you wondered where the pathways between the boulders went. It felt wild and mysterious. You could imagine it was a scene from Lord of the Rings and you were a wee hobbit on your journey where a fearsome creature might pop out from around the corner of one of the large stones.

Further along the path we came to Boulders Arch, with two large rocks that leaned into one another, meeting in middle to create a passage way between them. We ducked under the arch and continued down the serpentine trail through more of the rock labyrinth. After traversing around a large tree that had fallen across the trail we reached a dry stream which we guessed would have been the first opportunity for waterfalls, but as we had suspected the weather had been too dry for there to be much water in the creek bed. So we turned around and retraced our steps.

We came back to the Loyalsock Canyon Vista and laid out a blanket, our camera tripod, and my watercolor supplies. And we spent the rest of the afternoon taking pictures. David even took a short time lapse of the clouds rolling across the canyon. I spent my time creating a small watercolor painting. I haven’t had much experience plein air painting, but it was very fun to try and I look forward to doing it more! Soon after that we hit the road to go in search of some supper, for by this time we were starving! It is amazing what an active day outside will do for your appetite! We look forward to going back to Worlds End to explore more of the area.

It may be for only a single day, but those trips fill a tank deep inside that often gets overlooked. It is so easy to get so busy with our work lives, relationships, ministries, and the million and one other things that demand our time and attention that adventure just slips away. You look back on the past several months and realize you’ve done very little that would be in the category of adventure or fun. It is such a subtle transition, a shift that feels inevitable; we think we have to do everything that is asked of us all the time. While all this noise is going on there is a quiet robbery of the things that bring so much life and joy. Sometimes I’m just too tired to want to do something adventurous. Or I claim I have no time. Or it costs too much. Or _________________ (fill in the blank with an excuse of your choice).

Can I just suggest that if you are too tired to do something adventurous for a single day, it may be time to reevaluate your priorities? Trust me, I’ve been there: “go for a walk in the fading evening light? Eh, I think I’ll just watch Youtube.” “Pack a picnic lunch and go for a hike in a local park? Nah, too much effort, I’ll nuke some leftovers.” “Take a trip to our favorite amusement park? I do not have the social energy to handle all that stimulation right now.” Alright, alright, I know we go through seasons of fatigue when life is just really busy or overwhelming for one reason or another, that is just reality, but that should be a season, not a lifestyle. If we are tired, frayed, and worn out all the time, it may be time to find some breathing room.

“He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.”~Psalm 18:19 ESV.

In order to be ourselves, to be the people God wants us to be, we need time of rest. Going to World’s End wasn’t necessarily physically restful, but it was good to step away and get a break from everything that is going on. Engaging in adventure can be a good opportunity for a mental reset.

Maybe adventure seems out of reach, but start with the small things. Adventure doesn’t have to be big, it can be an early morning walk, drinking your morning smoothie out on your back porch before starting your day, packing a picnic lunch and eating it on a swing in a park after church, going for a bike ride, laying outside on a blanket under the stars, taking an overnight camping trip, making a new recipe you’ve never tried before, growing a few plants in pots on the patio, taking a blacksmithing class, or sitting outside at dusk to watch the fireflies and listen for the screech owls call. Find something simple that you like, or that you and your family or friends can enjoy together. Most importantly, take a moment to ask God about what adventure He wants to give. Let Him lead, inspire, and provide what that adventure should be.

God wants to give us refreshment. He doesn’t want us run down and at our wits end all the time. But sometimes we have to ask for the refreshment or be willing to take on the adventure He sends. Sometimes adventure stirs new thoughts, desires, dreams, and hopes for the future. Adventure can also give you things to look forward to and get excited about. I remember more than a year ago praying for adventure, and it was like something clicked, like God was after something deep in my heart that I didn’t even totally realize was there. But He wanted to meet me there and fulfill a longing there I couldn’t even identify. After spending a little more time in prayer I realized I was a little scared of adventure. Adventure involves taking risk, stepping out of your comfort zone. As I thought and prayed on these things I heard a whisper in my mind that said, ‘it involves faith.’ I remember praying a lot during that time for God to help me trust Him more and to grow my faith. Sometimes God uses adventure to grow our faith. Accepting the invitation of adventure can be scary or intimidating, but so worth it.

- Written By Danielle D.

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