Today’s meditation is from Jack Waddington of St David’s. Thank you, Jack.
Jamie Andrew liked to climb mountains so, along with his girlfriend, his best friend (also called Jamie) and a few other friends, they decided to go to Chamonmix in the French Alps for a week, for a mixture of socialising, skiing and climbing. While the others were skiing the two Jamies decided to go mountain climbing for a couple of days. They were experienced climbers and had all the necessary equipment. They checked the weather before going and it seemed OK for a couple of days so off they went. Unexpectedly, they were forced to spend a few nights on a ledge high up on the mountain, the weather being so bad that even the mountain rescue team could not get to them either on foot or with their helicopter. During the last night on the mountain Jamie’s friend died and Jamie was rescued the following morning just in time to save his life. Sadly, his frostbite was so severe that both his hands and both his feet had to be amputated. Can you begin to imagine what this meant to him, losing all four limbs and his best friend dying next to him while he survived? His inspiring and challenging book “Life and Limb” tells the story of his fight back, both physical and mental.
Towards the end of the book he says “However, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the past few years, it’s not to dwell on what might have been. We only have one reality to deal with in this life and that’s difficult enough so there’s no point in dreaming up others”. Essentially, he seems to be saying we can only live in the present, not the past and not the future, only in today. Doesn’t this remind you of something Jesus said? “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow wll worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6 v 34). It seems to me that this is a very relevant truth at this time of coronavirus.
I think Jesus understood natural human worry and I would be surprised if he didn’t feel it at times himself (when the Scriptures say “fear not” I don’t think they’re talking about natural human fear as it seems to me that Jesus experienced this in Gethsemane). I think Jesus was saying something like this : don’t get paranoid – don’t let worry overtake you, freeze you out – remember who is in control.
During his mountain experience I don’t think Jamie knew who was in control but during this time of coronavirus we Christians do, don’t we? My mind keeps going back to a Christian Endeavour Convention I attended in Glasgow many years ago on the theme “That I may know Him” (based on Philippians 3 v 10) and, in particular, to the convention theme chorus composed by the locals :
“that I may know Him……….and the power of His rising again…………that I may show Him and His Love and Compassion to men…………that I may take His cross to bear and in His burden have a share…………that I may know Him…………that I may know Him”.
May this be our experience at this time.