“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”
During my time in Spain, I had the privilege of visiting some beautiful caves they call “Las Cuevas de Nerja” or “Nerja Caves”. Stretching for almost 5 kilometers, these caves have approximately 435 steps. Some steps go down and some curve around, however many go up. And believe me when I say, these steps are quite steep!
I took part in a guided tour where they led our group through the caves. Shortly after beginning our tour, I observed an older gentleman walking right in front of me as he began having difficulty with the climb. It seemed that the more we climbed the slower he became. His legs looked as though they were giving out and his breathing had become labored. Truthfully, he looked exhausted!
I asked him if he was okay, and if he needed any help? But the gentlemen insisted he was fine and thanked me for asking. After a while, someone else in the group became concerned and again asked if he needed help. This time he decided to accept the offer. As I continued walking behind them now, they began to engage in conversation.
During their chat, he mentioned he was 87 years old and that his wife had passed. He said that shortly after his wife’s passing he had decided to go travel the world.
And so there he was, alone in Spain in the middle of a cave, climbing 435 steps all the while using his cane for assistance!
Which brings me to this. . .
I often have said that if we pay close attention to what’s happening around us, we will discover that there are lessons God will have us learn, literally at every corner!
I remember feeling choked up thinking of his inner strength and courage. There he was 87 years old, weak but determined. He had made the decision to travel to another continent with the intent of traveling the world, by himself!
I didn’t know this man, as we exchanged several words at most. However, I felt a connection to him.
You see this man had been knocked down, BUT he didn’t stay there. Instead, after losing his wife, he dusted himself off and got right back up! He kept moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other! And although his body was frail, and he certainly looked tired, he didn’t pay much attention to any of those things.
For he had a plan and a dream to fulfill. He was on a mission and he wasn’t going to let anything or anyone stop him!
So, on that sunny Monday afternoon, unbeknownst to him, he served as a reminder. . .
That what truly defines us, is not how many times we get knocked down, but rather how many more times we have the courage to get right back up!