Lost on a Mountain

I've been reading the profile of Kelly James whose body was recovered from Mt. Hood today.

From the CNN link:

His pastor, Gary Brandenburg of Fellowship Bible Church Dallas, said James was a religious man who understood the dangers of his hobby.

"He knew the risk of what he did and yet he was always the kind of guy who could see past the summit and know that when this life is over, it's not over," he said.

I visited the Fellowship Bible Church website where I read this from Pastor Brandenburg's Sunday sermon. It ministered to me and I think it will minister to you as well:

We have agonized this week over the predicament of three men lost on Mt. Hood. I have been asked, “How do you encourage people in a time like this. It must be hard.” I try to gently explain that even though these are unusual circumstances they are no different than what people deal with every single day. John Damaskinos, Sydney Thweat, these are people who are fighting for their lives right now. And the truth is, whether we are on the side of a mountain or hooked up to hoses in a hospital somewhere, we are all terminal. We will not stop asking God to bring Kelly home, and we will rejoice. But it is only a temporary reprieve. Death will come calling at a later date. I don’t know if Kelly was prepared to spend a week on that mountain but he didn’t go up that mountain unprepared. John is prepared, little Sydney is prepared. Are you?

And then this prose:

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.

I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things.

I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy.

I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.

I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.

I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for but got everything I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among all people, most richly blessed.

For a good mountaineering article about May 1996’s fatal summit to Everest, read Jon Krakauer’s article Outsider Magazine: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. Also a book

I was privileged to have my own mountain climbing experience in August 1987 (just weeks before my neck injury that has forever changed my body), when I climbed the 11,428 feet Twin Sisters - Colorado. It was a thrill to be more than 1,000 feet above the tree line and experience the personal triumph of this accomplishment!

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