Taylor thought for a good ten minutes, maybe more, as we trudged along the old road we found to ease our way up the mountain. He didn’t say much; it was like he was really thinking of the question Dad had posed to him–to all of us, really. If Jesus were to join us on the trail, sorta like He did with two of His followers after His resurrection on the road to Emmaus, what would you ask Him? And, what if you had only two questions?”
Taylor, prompted as we laid in the shade near a stream bed we wished actually had water in it, said, “Jesus, am I really saved?”
Wow. Dad and granddad both were surprised. Then we marveled at its significance. There are moments we all wonder. At 12.5 years, his life as a believer was both short and filled with turbulent transitions of body, mind, and emotions.
Gently, excited to hear him work it out as we talked over the next heavy breathing mile of our hike, we prodded Taylor with questions and calmed him with our own stories. By our tone, Matt and Gary knew they could neither assume the answer or provide one for him. We even role-played Jesus with probing questions. In effect, Jesus had to answer him directly.
Yes, it turns out, he did make the rebirth decision some years earlier, baptised, too. But the feelings were all over the place (which we explained as the caboose of the train, not the engine that drove it with the fact of his having chosen Jesus as Savior).
This was the day we passed by the washed out trail sign to the spring. Over in our back post, DEHYDRATED, we tell the story of life-challenging thirst. That evening by the fire with only steak and no water (all the other food was back-packing dehydrated foods), we talked about the next step in his journey: recognizing thirst of faith and getting the Water of Life to satisfy.