Weekend outings are always an adventure in Papua. Our friends had invited us to a pool, but it was closed Saturday morning. I wasn’t excited about the backup plan: hiking to a new waterfall. Here, that could mean anything from a jungle trek to a mountainous climb, and I was not up for either. My emotions were a bit fried from busyness.
“Let’s just go and check it out,” my husband encouraged. So, we followed them to the trail head. My hopes lifted when I saw a wide, easy path that looked like a road. But, our guide, a Papuan boy spending the day with our friends, swiftly turned off of that road into the jungle.
The narrow path quickly became sloppy and muddy, and overcrowded with ferns and jungle foliage. There were several large pipes and rocks that we had to scramble over. We all offered our hand when someone needed help. My friend Natalie and I reminded ourselves that “getting away” in Papua was never an easy thing. I learned that Natalie had also been hoping for a low-stress day.
Our Papuan guide kept assuring us it wasn’t much farther. Natalie and I looked at each other knowingly. “That could mean another hour or ten more minutes,” we joked. Finally we settled at a little spot by the stream that was refreshing and beautiful. Natalie and I decided to wait there and let the men and kids go on to the waterfall. We thoroughly enjoyed the stream with its refreshingly clear water bubbling by. Being there was worth the hike.
Our experience reminded me of Jesus’ teaching about the narrow and wide roads. The wide road is easy and yet, it leads to destruction. The narrow road is hard, but it leads to life. For those of us who are on the narrow path, let’s remember to encourage one another along the way. It will be worth it!