Mark Affleck


October 21, 2020
Spiritual Growth

Yesterday we were playing hockey on a FROZEN LAKE. Today we’re hiking on a MOUNTAIN TRAIL in the same “majestic Sierra’s” where I crashed through thin ice into the frigid water.
This hike does NOT feature a near-death story.  It was memorable because of WHEN we decided to abort the hike. We turned back in the shank of a SUNNY and splendid spring morning at the base of SLIDE MOUNTAIN, a 10,000-foot peak on the Carson Range in Washoe County, Nevada.
Why turn back when conditions were PERFECT?
My engineer brother-in-law Pat had studied the weather report and saw a storm forming that would put us in danger. In his mind, the ONLY way to avoid getting trapped on the mountain was to turn around immediately.
His judgment was right. That storm turned out to be a 100-year event that produced a devastating flash flood through the valley we were traveling to start our ascent up the mountain.
That experience taught me the top two considerations every hiker must consider before moving forward: WEATHER & DAYLIGHT. Both require setting a TURNAROUND POINT to avoid SUMMIT FEVER, the quest to continue forward toward the goal even when there is a chance of getting trapped.
If the Holy Spirit nudges you about ANYTHING that is wrong with the path of your faith hike–TURN AROUND immediately, give it to God and ground yourself in his Word.
That will give YOU a chance to:

  • Refresh yourself and increase self-awareness.
  • Reduce emotion and slow down the pace of life.
  • Rewind your “life tape” and identify blind spots.

And it will give GOD a chance to guide you through these questions:

  • Am I ignoring someone who needs my attention, love, or time?
  • Am I in touch with how my current mood/attitude looks and feels?
  • Am I living the habits of a disciple: Word; Prayer; Fellowship; and Tithing?

I ask God to show me when and where I need to change the direction of my FAITH HIKE or turn around. To guide me toward his light and away from life’s darkness.
Are you aware of your TURNAROUND POINT where you need to interrupt your faith hike and go to God?
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16:13

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