Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: CHILL (10/27/16)
- TITLE: View From The Top
By Lois Farrow
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We laugh but we don’t envy Mark as he tells the harrowing story of the big chill of 1992 when he was stuck near the top of Mount Cook in New Zealand for thirteen and a half days. A snow cave was their shelter as he and his climbing companion hunkered down to wait out the bad weather. A few remaining biscuits were their only supplies.
They were rescued by helicopter when a break came in the weather. Just in time, as the fine weather lasted only two hours before it closed in again. The mountain was cut off for a further 19 days.
Mark knew he had frost bite in his toes and he might lose them; what he wasn’t prepared for was having both legs amputated below the knee. Huge obstacles loomed before him, but Mark was determined to overcome.
For a young family man adjustment to a new way of living was massive. But Mark was always ready to set his sights on the next goal. He took up cycling, winning a silver medal in the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney.
Mark climbed Mt. Cook again, reaching the summit this time. Not content, he realised if he could do that, he could also climb Mt. Everest. He made his own artificial legs for the icy conditions, and undertook meticulous preparation.
“Legs don’t do it on their own,” Mark tells us. “It’s about collaboration and trust and a shared purpose. It’s about total commitment from the team around you.”
Mark reached the top of Mount Everest, but as he looked at the incredible view he knew he was only half way through his journey. The climb down was an equal challenge to the ascent. We too have ups and downs and they are equally challenging. The essential thing is to keep going.
Mark’s story inspires me and teaches me about the Christian life. We encounter setbacks, but we can overcome with God’s help. Sometimes we need new ways of doing things. In our church life we learn collaboration, trust and a shared purpose; we don’t do it on our own. In our work for God we sometimes need meticulous preparation, but we also need to step out beyond what we think we can do and learn to do it with God’s help. With God’s eyes we too can see the view from the top and see the eternal perspective.
I like Mark’s positive attitude. The Bible tells me to give thanks in everything, but this is an ongoing challenge, especially when obstacles loom large. What will I choose as my attitude?
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