Pain to Euphoria

Life is sometimes like climbing a mountain.  Tyler is an avid hiker and wanted to take the family on a hike to Heather Lake in the Cascades of Washington.  I was up for the hike but had some fear and in trepidation due to the fact that he regularly goes on hikes that take him to the top of the mountains in a day and back, needing crampons and other skilled hiker gear to get to his destination.

A little back drop.  I knew what kind of hiker he is and that he is 22.  I’m a senior citizen and am in pretty good shape, but shape is relative.  I was concerned that what he thought was easy was not easy for me nor for Nadine.  We had a few discussions before the hike as to how difficult the hike was and he assured us that we could do this hike.  The final count of those going was 4 total, Tyler, his sister Ashley 33, and Nadine and I.  Two young adults and a seasoned couple.  It took about an hour to drive to the parking spot and we began to assault the 2.8 mile trail one step at a time.

Right from the beginning the percent of incline was 10% reaching greater inclines of difficulty as we went.  I kept saying to myself slow and steady and was bringing up the rear the whole way up.  Slow and steady.  Slow and steady.  S l o w and s t e a d y.  A below picture gives you some idea of what we were climbing.


It took all I could muster to take one step and then another.  It seemed like forever climbing over rocks and roots before we got to the top.  It seems my journey through life in many cases.  It’s a day in day out grind, doing the same thing over and over with imperceptible growth taking place, having to take difficult steps to reach a goal that seems very far away.

But then in the clearing we begin to see glimpses of coming out of the routine into the brilliance of a mountain top experience that takes your breath away.  We reached Heather Lake and saw the snow melting off the mountain tops cascading into water falls that tickled our ears.


We got to experience the beauty of a mountain lake half-frozen with the sound of waterfalls all around us draining into the lake.  We only experienced the beauty of the lake and waterfalls because we took the time to climb the trail that led to the beauty above.

Too many times on this journey, we want to experience the end result without dealing with the struggle of getting there.  We want instant.  We want end result.  We want results.  But what we want oftentimes comes by the struggle.  On this journey in order to reach the beauty of life, we are required to climb up and tackle the obstacles that come our way to reach the lakes and waterfalls of life.  Enjoy the process.

About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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