Setting Forth

This past Saturday I decided to kick the invitation of apathy in the butt and go for a hike. It was already raining but I thought a little water would only add to the wealth of a hike in the Colorado Mountains. I wanted to a deep drink of life, so I browsed my friend Aaron Johnson’s website, www.dayhikesneardenver.com and found a hike I liked in Eldorado Canyon called Rattle Snake Gulch Trail. With a quick google map of the how to get to the trail head, I packed up snacks and water in my day pack and set out.

I was heading into new territory for myself. I couldn’t wait to explore a new trail, a new glimpse into Eden’s beauty. And then it began…I missed my exit  and I was out of gas.

I pulled over somewhere in Boulder for desperately needed fuel. I reached into my pocket for my wallet and got nothing…I left my wallet at home! Ok, I got this what extra change could I find lying around my car. $1.55…Yikes! My tank was empty I didn’t think that would get me back to Denver, let alone up to the trail head and back. I stopped…Disappointment started creaking open the door to my heart…”Ok,” I thought, “Whats the worse that could happen?”

I felt Spirit God redirect my thoughts towards His presence. I felt that He was assuring me this was an opportunity for Him to show off. I started to phone some people I know in Boulder, they were out of the state or working. God has to be in this…somewhere…right? I stopped for a moment and felt Him close. I wanted to doubt how I could get fuel?! I asked a couple passerby’s for change…nothing. Oh boy, I wanted to weigh my options but felt God, the Creator of all fuel tell me to wait.

I was His son after all and I know How bad He wanted to go into the wild with me! I saw a older couple walking up, I thought this is my last chance, I asked…they inquired, I told them my situation and desire. They told me to pull up to the tank and they would put a couple gallons in. They asked about what I do and I told them about Ecstatic Expression (and if they’re reading…Thank You!). Wow, it was worth waiting, Thanks God.

I was back on path to a journey into the wild. I think we need to pause here to grasp journeys into wilderness of any kind parallel the path of the mystic, innovator, and lifestyle of the entrepreneur so well.  We have an idea of where we are heading, some good advice, some equipment, but it’s only when we set out that we realize we have no way to get fuel for the rest of the journey…and that’s where God makes the most of our experience. In the moments we seem to run out of options He makes even bigger possibilities for our growth, expanse, and experience of His nature.

I started driving up to the state park  not giving much thought to the park fee that all state parks have to get access into, still have no wallet, and when I arrived they still had their rules. I was allowed the opportunity to phone home to get my debit card info to pay. No answers. Man I was going to have to turn around after all. Driving back out of the park was interesting. I felt the Creators joy, His love, His optimistic view that the day wasn’t over yet, and then on que with God’s cheeky attitude came another chance. A roommate with my debit card number. So I turned back to the park, paid and was off on the trail.

a photo of a goshawk trail in eldorado canyon.

The mountains held deep and precious secrets of beauty and goodness, and as I walked along they shared the best ones they knew.

a photo of Rocky Mountain Penstemon's in eldorado state park

The rocks of Eldorado Canyon, where immense and seemed to speak forth with a boisterous voice that echoed under my skin. I couldn’t help but awe in amazement. I walked along the path for awhile capturing the music of the land on my camera.

a photo of eldorado canyon

I got to a divergence in the path and neither one was the one I was looking for but I felt I needed to go right. I turned right and hiked up hill for a ways. The green of spring shared His energy as I walked along. Soon it began raining I laughed with God as water showered our heads. I turned back around after an hour of hiking, enjoying myself but realizing I wasn’t going to find the Rattlesnake Trail.

I hiked and hiked and realized I had past the orignal trail head and was off course a ways. A little confused, and dehydrated I didn’t want to make any bad decisions so learning a little quicker this time I listened to God leading me back with His voice, turn here, not that way, this way. Soon enough I was back at the trail I was looking for. On my way down to the car I was wondering where the Rattlesnake trail head was anyways, about a minute hike from my car I saw the trail sign for the R.S. Trail!

Rattle Snake Trail Head!

Wow, talk about wrong turns, mess ups, opportunities to quite or bail out, and not to mention just completely missing the original path I was aiming for! I share this not for any sort of hiking advice although if you find some, double check it with someone who knows the mountains. Please. 🙂  I share it because it’s the path we take up when we decide to walk into the unknown and unexplored territories of life. The trail I hiked had been marked out, however, it was new to me and with no human guide I think it relates to our paths in the spirit and in our careers very well. Whether seeking the deep things of God or starting a whole new career as an artist we need to be ready for the unknown. And however ill prepared we are, and wrong turns we take, and signs we miss, and wallets we forget, and rain storms we happen upon, we have Creator God. Who happens to be one of the most triumphant people I have ever met. Everything is a chance to increase with God around. And if you ever need to laugh He has no problem deliberately distracting you with JOY!

This isn’t my first trip to the mountains I actually was a backpacking guide once…I know. It also wasn’t the first time I have forgotten a piece of gear, or missed a sign or turn and had to improvise. The only way to learn instincts are to make mistakes time and time again. The stakes may be higher for some wilderness adventures but if we don’t go for Everest on our first hike we should have plenty of time to learn. Each journey into the wild prepares us for the next journey, and we always have something to take home from time spent in nature.

My encouragement is for those setting forth into something unknown and unfamiliar. Whether you want to start a career as a artist, or begin a new business endeavor you will need to be prepared, but no matter how prepared you are, you are going to make mistakes, miss turns, and hopefully learn… a lot…Most important you are going to have an invitation to quit, really it could get tough…in those moments know your invited to persist not in your own power but with the Creators Goodness holding you up, showing you the path.

Deeper into His presence!

a photo of a colorado hiking trail

Written by Jimmy Canali

2 thoughts on “Setting Forth

  1. Hay Jimmy,

    Just been looking through your site. So encouraging. I love your creativity in your writing and just to see you go after what you want and what excites you. To be inspiring creativity in others. So cool keep it up. Big love, Anna

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