Two of my best friends have know idea what lies ahead of us. Captivated by the beauty of the dense Forrest, the various streams and rock formations, and the trees reaching to the skies betray how our hike would end.
Paul and Trent – they are my brothers, and more.
Over the past few years they have had their share of rough trails. Trent works for a major corporation always under threat of being bought or going broke. Things seem to have settled for the time being. Working hard has not been a problem as there appears to be more than one person can do, regularly. His determination and will complement his natural social skills. But, the trail has been rough.
Paul is a pastor. Enough said. More reserved than his older and younger brothers, he is no less skilled with people. Sandwiched in the middle is not an unfamiliar place. These past few years have aged him. We tease about our ever decreasing stable of locks. Much is made of how Presidents age. I wonder about pastors. Some say character is forged in the depths of struggle. If so, Paul’s character runs deep.
We survived the “Rough Trail.” We made it to the top. In fact, not just me, Paul, and Trent. But, Dad and Mom, as well as Patty, Vera, and Sandra. Soaked. Scraped. Weary. Yet, energized by reaching the top. What at once seemed a place that may overtake our shared abilities, became the vision of exhilaration and accomplishment.
Father Richard Rohr sees in Jesus the reality that without great suffering there cannot be great love. Managing rough trails could be likened to suffering to reach an aim or end. Indeed there is great love shared between brothers, and more – friends.