There is a very high, rough and rugged hill in Northern Bay, N.L. It is affectionately called the Tote by locals. You could see it from our house.

When we were living there, my husband, David, used to look out the window and tell me how they climbed it when they were teenagers. I was curious; after all, I had heard some of his legends about the Tote and thought it would be fun to climb, too.

So late one morning we grabbed some water and snacks (if you’re going to climb up a hill, you might as well have a celebration picnic at the top) and headed out to conquer the Tote.

Two Choices

The first part of the journey was relatively easy, but then we got to an area where David stopped.

“We can go that way,” he said, pointing in one direction, and then proceeded to tell me that that was the easier way.

“Or we can take the path that has a sharper incline and is harder and more rugged,” he finished. 

I took a second or two to think about it and, wanting to feel as strong as my husband and prove I could do anything he could do, I stubbornly chose the hard way.

David hesitated because anyone who knows me knows that I’m a bit clumsy. I’m not always as sure-footed as I like to pretend, and sometimes my body parts get in the way. But I was determined!

To the Top

So we started the hard part of the journey. Soon, I found myself tripping over my feet, and I even fell once. David walked in front of me and helped guide my steps. Good thing, too, because I might have broken something. (Don’t tell David he was right!)

The good news is that we did eventually make it to the top. I had acquired a couple of bruises and scratches along the way, but we made it.

And the view was beautiful from up there. We feasted on our goodies and spent time talking to each other and to God as we sat there and took in His handiwork. A cathedral built not by human hands.

The Choice Is Yours

Life is just like that climb. We have an option every morning. We can choose to take the hard path or the easy. We can choose to be a positive influence on those around us, or not. We can choose to love or to hate. We can choose to serve God—or not.

Know that sometimes you must take the hard path, but also know that God goes before you guiding your steps, just as David guided me. Choose to serve God because there is no greater purpose on earth. And always choose love, even when it hurts, because sometimes it will hurt. But remember: Only we can choose how we want to live each day. Choose wisely!

Captain Lorenda Dale is the corps officer at The Salvation Army’s Picton Community Church in Ontario.

Photo: vchalup/


On Saturday, April 8, 2023, Emma Boyd said:

Lovely story and when people put their trust in our Heavenly Father ,he will guide us safely home and protect his children when we are obedient to his voice.Sometimes we stumble and fall and fail him because we step outside of his providential care but thank God he will never turn his back on his children .God is so good.all the time God is good..Thank you for sharing.

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