A Mountain Adventure
As we arrived at the mountains one Sabbath morning, my mom’s instructions were very clear: “Stay close and don’t stray off the path!” I heard her, but I was also very excited. It was going to be a fun day because we were having church service in the mountains!
After lunch, while my friends and sisters played, I went to the restroom by myself. As I exited the restroom, I saw two trails in front of me: one that led back to the church’s campground, and a second trail that led straight into wilderness. I knew it was best to head back to the campground, but my curiosity was begging me to find out what was through the trees. It wouldn’t hurt to explore a little, right? And besides, I told myself, I can always follow the trail back.
As I started down the second path, I could hear the chattering and laughter of my church family growing fainter. But I wasn’t worried; I was having too much fun. After exploring for about half an hour, I figured it was time to head back. When I turned around, the trail had disappeared and nothing looked familiar. I didn’t know where I was and I suddenly felt very scared. I kept walking for what seemed like miles, but every tree looked the same and there was no trail in sight. Out of nowhere, I heard dogs barking. The sound scared me even more, so I started running away, not realizing that those were dogs who were out looking for me. As I kept walking, I could see that the sun was starting to set. Thirsty and afraid, I prayed to God for help. Within minutes, I felt small rain drops on my face. God had heard my prayer! I opened my mouth and drank as much rainwater as I could, but I knew there wasn’t much time left before it got dark, so I kept walking. It was then that I found a dirt road. With the little energy that I had left, I walked up the road and heard a familiar sound behind the trees. When I cleared the trees, I saw a large, dark highway with cars speeding by. I stood there for a moment but it wasn’t long before a car pulled up next to me. “Are you lost?” a friendly couple inside the car asked. “Yes,” I said and they quickly let me inside the car. They took me to several nearby campgrounds to see if I recognized anyone, but no one looked familiar.
By this time, night had fallen and I felt that I had little hope of seeing my mom and sisters again. The couple took me to the ranger’s station, and when we arrived, I could tell the rangers were relieved to see me. Apparently, a lot of other people were, too, because a small crowd had formed and there was even a television crew waiting for me. But no one was as thrilled and relieved as my mom. She ran through the station’s doors and wrapped her arms around me. She held me tight like she had never done before.
I learned a lesson that day. God often tells us not to do certain things because He knows what is best for us. Yet, many times we don’t listen and instead go off looking for adventure and find ourselves lost and afraid. The amazing thing is that God never leaves us. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Do not be afraid or terrified… for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you." God also hears our prayers and helps us find our way back into His safe and loving arms.
Oswaldo was seven years old when he got lost in the Manzano Mountains in New Mexico. Today, Oswaldo works with Pathfinder and Adventurer Clubs in his community, teaching them wilderness survival skills.