Quilotoa is one of many volcanic wonders in Ecuador. It is a 2-mile-wide lake filling a dormant volcano that collapsed many years ago. In 2018 Valorie and I were able to visit our daughter Elena during her semester in Quito. We chose Quilotoa as a scenic and “easy” hike because the next day we planned to ascend Cotopaxi volcano up to 16,000 feet. The view from the rim of Quilotoa was spectacular and the half mile hike down to the water was pleasant. The sun was shining, birds were singing, and we hiked the downhill trail with ease.
About halfway down we noticed clouds starting to form in the crater but were surprised when we reached the bottom to find it raining while we ate our lunch. By the time we started back up the trail it was raining heavily. Within minutes there were streams of water pouring down the sides of the crater pushing mud down and into our path. With our clothes soaked and our shoes filled with mud, we noticed how difficult it was to walk uphill, especially with the elevation at nearly 13,000 feet. We finally got back to the top after several hours, cold, wet and very tired.
Colossians 2:6-8 says, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
As we finish our Advent series in the book of Colossians this Sunday, we reflect on the two big themes from our “Out of the Box” series: “Who is Jesus?” and “Who am I?” The Bible warns us that understanding and living out the answers to these questions is an “uphill battle”. There are forces that are working to keep you down in the crater or to make you trip and fall on your journey with Christ.
On Sunday we’ll talk about the perils as well as the resources we have for making this journey. We’ve got a skilled trail blazer who has gone before us, a constant companion who will never leave us, a compelling destination to motivate us, and joyful fellow hikers to journey with.
After our hike we sat in a café drinking chocolate caliente and recounted our adventure. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Would we hike again another day? Yes – the Cotopaxi summit beckoned us in the distance!