Two mountain climbers who were missing for two weeks after embarking on a cross state mountain hike were found. When the two climbers did not check in with family at a designated time they became concerned and officials were notified. One of the hikers was found dead while the other had been found by a local mountain man and brought to a nearby town.
Two climbers – Sal and Roger- were lifetime friends, since elementary school.
They had gone on a hike in Washington State. One week into the hike, one (Sal) fell to his death while the other (Roger) was seriously injured when a 3 rope bridge they were using to cross a ravine gave way.
Sal was found dead among the rocks below the bridge while Roger was found alive hanging, tangled within the rope of the bridge, and ‘mended up’ by a “hermit” - a Vet (Vietnam medic) named Dan, who has lived in a cabin in the woods by himself for decades and only goes to town a few times a year for supplies. He brought the injured hiker to town for medical attention. Roger eventually returned home from the hospital wearing several casts and bandages along with the grief of losing such a long time friend. He committed to becoming a better person in honor of his friend Sal who had died. This event had a sobering affect on Roger, since they had both walked quite a wild path up until this point.
The surviving hiker, Roger, returned frequently to visit with Dan. During the time they spent together in the woods – those few days while Roger was becoming stable enough to move – they got to know each other. A special relationship formed, beyond the usual “thanks for saving my life” type of relationship. They were generations apart and yet seemed to ‘click’. The news media, talk shows, magazines and even book deals were discussed, but Dan wanted nothing to do with any of it – he only wanted Roger’s friendship, a few letters and the few times a year they would visit. Dan could not afford to travel to Roger’s house, so Roger would go to Dan. And if the truth be told, Roger preferred it that way, he admired what Dan had – peace and quiet with a whole lot less stress - he actually looked forward to their “get togethers”. But over the years, Roger was married, had several kids, became more committed to his family and job – and was just tied up with the ‘things of life’ in general. Roger’s excitement to see Dan cooled to more of a duty to the one who ‘saved his life’ than a friendship. From every 6 weeks or so, Roger’s visits slacked off to more like Easter and Christmas. Dan had now aged and it was showing in more ways than one. He was not going to be able to live in the woods by himself too many more years. Dan did have distant family out of town whom he saw every few years - who had agreed to take care of Dan, albeit through an assisted living/nursing home. It was something the two men had talked about over the years, but never expected to come so soon. Life was passing them both by so fast.
Does this story remind you of anything? You are doing your own thing in life, running your own show, the master of your own destiny and suddenly your apple cart is overturned. You lose something valuable and don’t know what to do. Suddenly you are ‘saved’ from the tangled mess you’ve made. God comes in and changes your life - and replaces that which you’ve lost with Himself. You enjoy close fellowship with the Lord - just you and Him. He walks with you and talks with you. You become actively part of a local fellowship. When the Church doors would open, you would run in. You loved the peace and quiet. Many times you would come early just to sit in the pew. That’s all. Just to sit and soak up the Presence. Then, the things of this life begin to slowly but surely sap your time and energy. Work, family, hobbies, vacations, etc., all conspire to distract you from the One you love so much, robbing you of the peace you so freely enjoyed. But you are still very thankful. Eventually, you’re down to just Easter and Christmas, wondering what to do with God – you think, “certainly there are others around who can do the work”?
Life has passed you by so fast. . . . .
Only if the shoe fits, should you wear it.
G e o r g e.