Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Risk (05/17/12)
TITLE: Three Men on a Ledge
By Sandra Hartman
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Three men who claimed to trust God were stuck on a ledge on a mountainside. The only way ahead was to jump a large gap to the ledge beyond.
“What to do?” worried Ronnie biting his fingernails. “I’m certain I can’t jump across there.”
“You have no choice,” said Sam.
“Surely someone will come looking for us,” said Ronnie, “you left our hiking plans with the desk clerk at the lodge right?” he said to Joe.
Joe hesitated and then looking up the mountain he answered. ”yeah—sure.”
“We can’t stay here it will be freezing tonight.” Sam explained.
“Well I can’t make that jump, “ replied Ronnie
“What about you Joe?” Sam asked.
“I think I see some good toe and hand holds above us. I think I can climb up and over.”
Sam shook his head, “You are more apt to miss those and fall than you are making this jump.”
“It’s too much risk either way,” said Ronnie chewing his last fingernail.
“Let’s pray about it,” Sam urged. Each man prayed silently.
“ Tell you what,” Sam said, “I will go first and then if you are short on your jump I can grab you. Besides we need to have a little faith here in God. Don’t you believe God can help you make the jump safely?”
“How about it Joe?”
Joe was still looking up “uh,uh I know I can trust God but I’m not sure that is the way to go I think I can make this on my own without His help. I’m going up. Besides with my weight what if I pull you over too?”
“I am willing to take the risk and I am sure God will help us,” replied Sam.
“But what if the ledge crumbles?” asked Ronnie pointing at the uneven surface beyond.
“It is still our best bet,” insisted Sam and pointing upward he added, “remember we will have a little help.”
Joe was already trying foot holds.
“Ok,” said Sam, “ I’m jumping over.”
“You’re going to fall! “ Ronnie cried, “Just stay here. We will be rescued in time. God can take care of us here too.”
“Maybe, but I feel He really wants us to take this leap of faith. When has He ever let you down?” asked Sam.
“I’m going!!“ with that Sam ran and leaped high into the air. For a moment he hung suspended in space and then he came crashing down on the ledge. His foot slipped and he momentarily teetered on the edge of thin air and then grabbing a bush sticking out from a crevice he pulled himself to safety.
“Okay Ronnie you try. I’ll hang on to this bush and reach for you. If I can make it you can make it!”
Sam heard the rocks sliding down from Joe’s ascent. “By the way Ronnie,” he grunted, “I forgot to leave our plans at the desk this morning”
----- then the unthinkable happened--
Before their eyes Joe lost his grip and with a gut wrenching scream plunged past them into the abyss.
Sam and Ronnie stared downward in horror and then Sam said--
“Ronnie! You can’t stay here. You have to take this risk. If you can’t trust me to catch you then trust God.”
Ronnie shook his head as he stared dazedly into the abyss that had just swallowed his friend.
“I’m too scared!” he cried.
“I know but not taking the risk could be fatal.”
“But Joe fell!!”
“I told him that was a risk he shouldn’t take but he chose to do it his way without God’s help,” said Sam.
Fear gripped Ronnie and he could hardly breathe let alone summon up faith. He wanted to trust God but it was so frightening.
“Please Ronnie take a leap of faith and join me. God won’t let you down!” pleaded Sam.
Ronnie shook his head, “You go for help. I can’t—“
“That’s a cop out Ronnie. You’ll never go ahead for God if you don’t challenge your faith now.”
Alas Ronnie could not be persuaded.
The next day when Sam returned for Ronnie.
He was amazed to find that he had survived, however, he lost five fingers and the tip of his nose and three toes to frost bite and he developed pneumonia which turned into chronic bronchitis.
The lesson learned, “Take the leap of faith it’s less painful in the end.”
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