Following the Trail

Nothing is more significant to the mountaineer than "the trail." It is inseparably associated not only with his hardships but with his happiness and his hopes. Whether open or obscure, whether easy or difficult, it always links him to his goal ; hence, whatever the situation or circumstance, he knows that it is the one thing he must stick to. Moreover, he is very likely to remember that, though so plain and so comfortably followed today, time was when it was but an indefinite direction, a line of obstructing rocks and undergrowth. Then came the pioneer whose heart was set on reaching the mountain top, and who, though sure only of the course to be made, had the courage to face both the seen and the unseen difficulties before him, and who aspired to make plain the way for all who might have his longing for the summit's broader view. His task called not only for thoughtful daring but for patient endurance, and in locating a safe path for himself he rendered an inestimable service for all who came after him. The question of the feasibility of the undertaking was now forever settled, since it could never be so hard for another as it was for him.

Thus in the climb to any inspiring outlook one is led to place a high value upon the service rendered him by the one who first blazed the way. It was he who opened the door of opportunity. Though clouds may be hiding the peak, and though they may settle down so as to obscure even the lesser landmarks, an open trail and a determined purpose to follow it will remove all danger of our losing the way and dispel all doubt as to our reaching the sun-bathed summit.

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Among the Churches
August 21, 1915
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