This past weekend I was backpacking and fishing with my son in the Wilson’s Creek area of the mountains of NC. It isn’t planned this way, but the last two years our annual trek has come on Father’s Day weekend – a great gift!
We stayed at a hotel Friday night and hit the mountain Saturday morning. Upon arrival at the trail head, we caught our first glimpse of our destination, the river below. And I mean waaay below… I hate backpacking on a down slope! It’s too hard on my poor knees and I have to be extra careful with each step. Give me uphill any day! And this was a steep descent without many switch backs in the trail.
Carrying a too-heavy pack (as I typically do) my knee started hurting about a quarter of the way down. Shortly thereafter, it started shaking. Then both legs started shaking. Further down the trail I began to feel a little strange, a little off… “Dad, I’m worried about you.” Michael said: “What have you had to drink today?” As soon as he asked the question, we both realized what was going on. “About 5 or 6 cups of coffee” I replied. As we know, coffee is a diuretic… The problem was one of dehydration!
Normally I am good about drinking plenty of fluids, but not on this day. I was anxious to get on the trail and in the river and didn’t give it a second thought. The dehydration snuck up on me. We made it the rest of the way down to the river and immediately filtered lots of water for me to drink. The shaking stopped and I recovered. We hiked more, set up camp and fished most of the day. I drank water to excess the rest of that day, but didn’t feel normal again until the next morning.
The remainder of our time went without incident and was great! A lack of sizeable trout is my only complaint about our trip. But I will say the hike back up that steep, straight trail on Monday made me question my preference for ascending rather than descending – it was a struggle!
The point of this little story is simply to remind us that spiritual dehydration can sneak up on us the same way actual dehydration snuck up on me. I was in a hurry. I knew we would be hiking down. I didn’t give fluids a second thought, and I am not about to forego my requisite amount of coffee in the morning. It was all a recipe for me to get into trouble, and I nearly did!
The same can happen to us. It’s summer, and there are lots of things drawing our attention away. Stay active in church this summer. Stay in the word. Attend our Thursday night class. Do whatever you can to avoid letting spiritual dehydration sneak up on you!
See you Sunday!