( Pictures at the end..)
Forewarning it is quite long.. so of course skim through which I have feeling you might do 😉
My little sister Erika and I chose to start the day off with a hike. We first visited the 360 bridge which is a big tourist attraction in Austin and something that nearly every true Austinite has visited at least once to get their picture taken.Although I lived close to Austin for many years I had yet to visit until that day. The view was simply beautiful and I could see why it was heavily visited from people all over. We found a nice spot to relax and watch the infamous Austin traffic accumulate on the bridge and enjoy the weather for a bit before we headed back down the trail that lead us up there to head to Bull Creek.
Erika who goes hiking quite frequently in Austin showed me one of her favorite hiking trails which happened to be Bull Creek. I could clearly see why considering whenever you enter the trail you see a graceful creek with streams flowing off the cliffs. We started off on the trail and I enjoyed the beautiful flowers I spotted hidden among-st the wild tree branches and the people who we ran into with welcoming smiles enjoying the early morning hike just like us. We soon came upon stepping stones in the water where we could cross to cut through to the other side. Instead of going all the way across on the stepping stones Erika wanted to show me another spot where the creek had this pretty waterfall. She warned me beforehand that there was a bunch of moss on the rocks and to be extra careful when crossing, since the water was freezing I decided to “tip toe” a little faster than I should of through the water and as the water started reaching further up my leggings I started to go faster thinking surely I would not fall. Well, I ended up slipping on a rock filled with moss and fell straight on my back hitting my head on a rock! My adrenaline rushed through me as I stood up quickly to get up when seeing the arrival of a whole group of people who came out of no where and was the only thing that I truly believe saved me from not feeling the pain. Perfect timing it was for a bunch of people who were not in clear sight to see me soaked in the water head to toe I couldn’t do anything but laugh and thank them for their courtesy when asking if I was okay.
Erika, although laughing at me when I fell and made sure to tell me how I looked like a cartoon who slips on a banana asked if I was okay and if I still wanted to keep hiking. I told her of course a little slip in the water wasn’t going to keep me from hiking plus I was drenched in water so what else could possibly happen to me lol (little did I know). We hiked for about 45 more minutes venturing out on the trails and enjoying the scenery and then decided to head back to the car to go to another trail. We were in her car and I asked her if by chance she had some extra clothes in her car . Sure enough she did in her trunk and actually quite a bit because some of it she was giving to Goodwill. The one pair of clothing we found that would be suitable for hiking was some light blue Adidas wind pants and I just ended up keeping my white tank on and she gave me her wind jacket to wear with it.
Ok, so the sweat pants were definitely high waters on me and a bit tight around the waist area also the wind jacket paired with it all made me look like a true hippie Austinite but this next hiking spot we would go to Erika said few people hardly went over there. Reassured that I wouldn’t run into people looking a bit silly with what I had on considering I must admit I’m a bit of a fashionista we ended up running into people (of course). When that happened true story I ran yes ran the other way lol. Erika was dying laughing and was like Karissa wait up I was like ” Erika I thought we wouldn’t run into anyone” plus they were really cute guys she was just dying in laughter and told me I was silly. I must admit that was a bit silly on my part but it did make for a good laugh that left us out breath!
We finally sat down for lunch on a bench. After the luck I was having today I was ready for some good food. We packed pasta, bananas, cliff bars, and peanut butter pretzels. It was all so delicious and very refreshing. Then, 10 mins into eating I spotted a spider about the size of a ping pong ball (NOT EXAGGERATING) from the corner of my eye as I took a sip of my water on my leg!! I stayed super calm and told Erika whos eyes got really big and was saying hesitantly “Karissa..Karissa..”. I closed my eyes and got up and started shaking just a bit hoping the spider would get off. I’m not one who is really scared of bugs but the size of that thing, my goodness I just wanted it off of me! Luckily, it disappeared and where it went I wasn’t going to question. I just sat there enjoying the rest of my food, Erika who was adamant about leaving after we seen that spider I told her I wasn’t going anywhere till I finished my food. Nothing comes in between me and my food 😉
After, finishing our food Erika and I were just talking about life. Erika was telling me about her bible study she has been attending and how much she enjoys the people there and the open conversations they have about their faith, and how it gets her week off to such a great start. I was so happy to hear she was attending this Bible study every Sunday and so glad to see her growing further in her faith. Being on the subject of God I paused and thought about today and let out a little laugh. Erika said ” what are you laughing at?” I told her I just realized God answered my prayers, and I didn’t respond as to how I should have. She just looked at me puzzled. I explained to her that last night I had prayed for humility. After attending lent a few weeks ago the verse Genesis 3:19 “..For you are dust, And to dust you shall return..” stuck with me. Father Bryan had mentioned that we should look within ourselves this lent and realize our place in Gods creation. We need to understand that we are a bit of nothing that God has created into something magnificent, and to not look into just our needs but others as well. To embrace our limitations that might be presented in our life, embarrassment, and to let our pride down etc.. I summed up to her that I prayed to have more humility and he did just that when I fell in the water, although I did accept the embarrassment of falling into the water I failed to walk past those ” cute guys ” in the non matching clothes I had put on afterwards. I should have walked passed with dignity and disregard what I had on.
So often God answers our prayers but not in the way we expect it. I have come to realize this as I grow older. After that day I still continue to pray to God to continue to allow me to grow in becoming more humble and to accept whatever he presents my way with dignity. The inequalities and obstacles I face in my everyday life whether it be as simple as what happened or much more humiliating or difficult.. there are opportunities everyday to exercise our gifts, grow in grace, and virtue through the act of humility and what it presents to us.