Less than one week into my tenure as Executive Director of CSI Ministries I was privileged to fly to Ireland with my wife Aimee, oldest daughter Kaitlen, and several others who were participating in The Way. After an overnight flight from Chicago to Dublin we were in Ireland. Our first day was spent touring Dublin, after which we headed west to Galway.
The next morning found us in the little village of Doolin, standing in front of O’Conner’s Pub and waiting for our guide. After introductions Pat led us on our hike along the Cliffs of Moher. Over the next 4 hours we would cover 8km, gain over 700 feet in elevation, and be treated to views so spectacular that words fail to describe them. Our path crossed 39 farms before culminating at the visitor center overlooking the “Cliffs of Insanity” of Princess Bride fame.
When our group of 20 started our hike in Doolin we truly did not know what to expect. Oh, we knew that we would see some beautiful Irish countryside, but nothing could prepare us for the majesty of God’s creation. Each vista seemed more magnificent than the one before. There were also a few times where the trail was a little bit dangerous. There were no safety nets hanging off the side of the cliffs. So, at times, we took each other by the hand, held onto the ropes, and followed the instructions of our guide. When we reached the top, everyone said that the climb was worth it.
Now, after 26 years of being a pastor, I find myself heading up a new path, that of full-time missions. I don’t know all that will lie ahead. But I know my Guide, and He can be trusted. I also know that those who are taking the path together are dependable, will provide help when it is needed, and will offer a helping hand to those who slip.
When we reached the end of our hike I heard several of our group mention that “it was better than we could imagine”. Only God knows what lies ahead. But when we reach the end of this journey I am sure we will discover that our Father has done “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20)