As we were walking those last 4 miles I thought about a verse from 2 Peter 1:5-8
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This challenge has taken all those things and it has led to growth in me and my photography. There have been many insights that the Lord has given me during these 100 miles, several of which I have shared on this blog. I have seen great beauty and experience a breadth of emotions from fear and exhaustion to great joy.
It is fitting that the weather on this last hike was rather unusual. In one part of the sky it was a beautiful clear day and in the other direction there were storm clouds. This made it a challenge to photograph, but it is kind of like a metaphor for these 100 miles. They haven't all been easy. Sometimes I dreaded just having to do one more hike and sometimes I loved every step.
I also thought about another verse on this hike from Paul's letter to the Philippians in Philippians 3:12-14:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
So now I press on, toward new hikes and new challenges toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Here is a slide show of the pictures that I took on our Saturday hike on the Rich Mountain Trail and Cades Cove.