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A Journey of a 100 Kilometers 

HTR Blog - 6 April 2022

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIVUK)

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, according to the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. I have come to realise that this is not where journeys of a thousand miles end, though. Or a 100 km trek in Afghanistan. It starts with a step, yes. But there are approximately 76 200 steps to follow (assuming that one step equals the average of 0.762 m) if you want to finish the journey.

I've also come to realise that, even though the first and the last steps may seem more significant, it takes all 76 200 steps to complete the whole journey. You can't leave out parts and still claim a full and finished expedition.

Sometimes along the way my steps became shorter as we trudged up a hill. Sometimes the road was straight and easy. Sometimes it took a group effort to cross a river of melted ice, arms hooked in, small steps on cold and slippery stones. Sometimes the steps were made easier by the unplanned company of locals who became friends. Sometimes the sense of achievement of vast distances walked between snow-capped mountains only became apparent when we stopped to rest and look back.

All in all it took all the steps to accomplish what we set out to do, not just one or two significant ones.

And so it goes with life. Sometimes the steps are fun and fast-going. Sometimes it becomes more of a schlep to carry on. Sometimes the way forward is unclear. Sometimes the way forward is clear, but discouragingly steep… But we never walk alone. God promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us (Joshua 1:9), even when it gets tough. Especially when it gets tough.

So let us carry on taking the steps towards the hope that lives within us, acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).

Nico Marais, 06/04/2022