It had basically been a legend in Carlos' family that he had long lost relatives living in an isolated community high in the Spanish Alps. But none of them knew for sure, because none of them had done the very hard work of finding them.
But now, after three years of preparation, he found himself 4 days into a hike to where he thought the relatives lived.
But it was hard. The weather had descended earlier than expected today with 60 mile-per-hour winds and -12 degree windchill. They had been soaked an hour earlier when torrential rains had washed over the peaks. And their portable oven had broken so they wouldn't be able to have hot food for the rest of this journey, however long it would take.
And by now, he and his three most daring friends that accompanied him, weren't feeling so daring anymore.
"C'mon. Let's turn back," Carlos pleaded.
"Hey man, this was your mission! We're here to keep you going! We'll never know if the legend is true, and you'll never be part of the story of finding them and uniting your whole family if you don't keep going right now!"
Then his other friend piped up, from where he was seated, huddled over and shivering on a snowy lump in the ground, "I don't know. This is stupid hard. I'm freezing."
In the end Carlos thought about the comfortable fireplace back home, made little excuses of why the legend probably wasn't true anyway, and made the call to turn back.
And because he didn't push a little further in faith, he didn't find the community he was looking for over the very next peak, only three more hours of climbing away.
Sometimes if we turn back during the hardest time, not only are we forsaking the reward of what we are about to find, and the personal growth it would cause in us, but also forsaking the story of defeating the hardest things life has ever leveled at us.
This requires a lot of bravery and faith.
What difficulties are you dealing with that are worth pushing through, just in case what you really dreamed of is on the other side of the struggle?
Raw Spoon, 11-4-2020
(image: a plant starving and drooping in parched ground, its roots reaching for water, one specifically reaching as far as it can, not knowing that the water flows only a few centimeters away.)