by a Friend of Medjugorje
The book titled Endurance is a story of approximately 27 men who attempted to be the first to reach the South Pole. Their ship became ice locked, and so started a most amazing story of endurance. It is a secular example of what we should do in wanting to be saved for eternal life, in what these men did to be saved in this life. After almost two years of persevering through weather dipping below zero, inadequately clothed, often wet and hungry, a small party of them, by a little more than a row boat traveled several hundred miles, through the most turbulent ocean on the face of the earth, to a land where they could get help.
They became marooned on the wrong side of the island. Three of them knew they could not walk to a whaling station on the other side with their limited provisions. They decided to take a short cut and walk where no man has ever walked, through the core where mountains of ice and snow must be traversed. They knew it would be difficult, so they could bring nothing that would slow them down for what they estimated would be a one day’s journey, even coats, which without they would not survive through the cold night. They traveled up and down mountains and valleys, several times having to retrace their steps, turning around because of meeting steep cliffs, making headway little by little. They arrived at a point off a mountain of another steep slope that was impossible to traverse. It was getting late. If they stayed where they were, they would freeze in an hour at their present altitude. They had to get lower. Even if they could have walked and hiked down the steep mountain, they still would not have time to make it before freezing to death. Speaking rapidly, their leader said they had no time; they had to get down now.
He then stunned them and said, “We are going to hold on to each other and go for it.” The other two objected, thinking that he was joking, but he meant it. He was not even smiling. They thought that it was insane. They had no choice, except to chance it. But what if they flew off a straight cliff or hit a rock? Their leader gave no time to think about it and within 60 seconds of his announcement, the three sat down as one sits on a toboggan, locking legs and hands together, holding on to each other, one behind the other. They kicked off. Their hearts stopped beating as they slid, flew and glided into the unknown. The following is the outcome.
After kicking off…In the next instance their hearts stopped beating. They seemed to hang poised for a split second, then suddenly the wind was shrieking in their ears, and a white blur of snow tore past. Down…down…they screamed – not in terror necessarily, but simply they couldn’t help it. It was squeezed out of them by the rapidly mounting pressure in their ears and against their chest. Faster and faster – down…down…down! Then they shot forward onto the level, and their speed began to slacken. A moment later they came to an abrupt halt, in a snow bank.
The three men picked themselves up. They were breathless and their hearts were beating wildly. But they found themselves laughing uncontrollably. What had been a terrifying prospect, possibly a hundred seconds before, had turned into a breath-taking triumph.
They looked up against the darkening sky and saw the fog curling over the edge of the ridges, perhaps 2000 feet up above them – and they felt that special kind of pride of a person who in a foolish moment accepts an impossible dare and pulls it off to perfection.
Our Lady’s messages often course us to or through the unknown. We can’t always see how things will work out, but we must remember Her words, “You just listen to me.” Are we willing to do for the spiritual and eternal life what men throughout the ages have done for earthly life in saving themselves? Too much planning builds bureaucracy. Too much thinking can stop you before you start. As these three jumped, did not plan, did not think, but trusted only that it was their chance, how much more are we to trust in Our Lady’s plans and Her messages? We do not have to know everything, the outcome, etc. Sometimes it takes just leaping in to follow Our Lady’s messages, even if it causes us more suffering and hurts, we know after we take that ride, we can look back up at the dark clouds we were in and then see by taking a chance on Our Lady that everything turned to our favor. It won’t happen in 100 seconds, rather it could take years to course us out of our predicaments, but Our Lady’s messages save, rescue, heal and will make all things new. Months, even years of perseverance and endurance is the key, seize the moment of grace. It will lead to blue skies.