It was a spontaneous decision. We were living in an extremely hectic season — Daughter #1’s high school graduation and leaving to be in the US for one year — but when we saw the Bolivian airline advertisement offering a cheap flight for Cuzco, Peru, we jumped at it.
Jake had done the 4-day trek to Machu Picchu twice before. I was excited to get the chance to see this lost city of the Incas high in the Peruvian Andes Mountains.
Below is the transcript, mostly un-edited, of a journal entry of mine just after we returned.
Sunday, May 25, 1997
I just re-read my journal this past month. Cuzco was such a complete and wonderful ‘escape’ from all this busyness — and now I must plunge right back in – but I am so grateful, Lord. You gave me a wonderful gift, an on-going gift. The gift was so undeserved. The break from life, the fellowship and love shared with Jake and our friends R. and J. (the sweetness and honor and respect between them was contagious.) and all the learning of another time, another culture. I feel like the lessons of Cuzco will be far-reaching in my life.
1.) I was training for the half-marathon (which is today, by the way) knowing that it was crazy cuz I jog so slow I would never really enter, but I had this desire to train for it, so I added 5 minutes of jogging each week, got to 55 minutes/3x/wk. I couldn’t really explain it, and it seemed crazy but I just wanted to do it, so I did . . . So my legs were as ready as they could be for the grueling Inca Trail (they got sore but they did it!) I learned: follow your desires with the Lord, even if they seem crazy. God leads and prepares us by the desires He gives us.
2.) The trail-learning: Life is hard. Lots of ups and downs. But God is near. Beauty (God’s love) surrounded us and blessed us and the goal before us kept us going. One never knows what the trail ahead holds – it could be steep now and get even steeper! But don’t worry, please, for it could be a nice level stretch just around the bend. Enjoy the now. And over that 2nd dreaded pass? Another whole view, another perspective comes. Sometimes one looks back and can see great progress. Look! We were way over there! Other times, the path trodden cannot be seen, covered with fog, trees or behind the mountain pass. Same as trail ahead. Sometimes you see it clearly. “That’s where we are headed.” Other times we can’t see it. We may think it’s far away, but then the ‘arriving’ surprises us.
It was crazy, but God gave us this gift and I am very very deeply and absolutely grateful to God for Jake and for this precious memory we made together.
Yes. Crazy. Precious. And the lessons have been ‘far-reaching’ for me, as I predicted.
Remembering Cuzco . . . besides being another proof of God’s determination to bless me, remembering Cuzco continues to give me confidence that whatever lies ahead, God will have me strangely ready.