Flying Snowshoes and Frozen Hot Dogs. part 1
Often times in the military you find yourself in such a miserable moment that you cannot help but contemplate the bigger picture. I had a night like that as a brand new private on the side of a mountain in Alaska.
My team had been tasked to conduct a recon on a site high in the Alaskan mountains. We parachuted onto a drop zone and then trucked into our insertion point around midnight. As the adrenaline wore off from parachuting in and the late night took its toll, we started up the side of the mountain. Our packs weighed between 80 to 100 pounds each. The side of the mountain was windblown and icy. For every ten steps we took up, we would slide down eight steps. mentally I could see the team reaching their physical and mental limits.
After five hours of struggling up the mountain we stopped to catch our breath. On our heavy packs we had large old-fashioned snowshoes. These added weight and caused our packs to be awkwardly unbalanced. As we stopped I saw my Sergeant in the limited light untie his snowshoes from his pack. I could see him look at us with a devious a smile. A second later he flung those snowshoes down the mountain. The steepness of the mountain along with the howling wind carried those snowshoes for what seemed like eternity. I was shocked. He looked at me and said “I don’t care how much it costs me. I am not going to carry what, I don;t need.”
How often in life do we carry burdens we don’t need because it will cost us if we get rid of it. We carry heavy cumbersome burdens. Doubt, anxiety, anger, hurt, shyness, self-consciousness, self-pity, and sin. Some of these burden are useless, some are downright harmful. Let’s see what scripture says about burdens:
Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalms 55:22
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
Not all burdens are sin or evil, but still slow us down and become burdensome. In Hebrews 12:1 states, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Not just sin but EVERY WEIGHT. What slows us down from fully running our race. Mortgage, family, jobs, hobbies, cell phones. II am not saying quit you job and leave your wife. But these things have there place and it is never before God. We must be willing to sacrifice all we have for Him.
Yes, my sergeant did have to pay to replace those snow shoes. Yes, he still thought it was a heck of a deal. When we cast off our burdens it may cost us friendships, finances, or embarrassment, but the payoff is so sweet. This is a LONG Journey take only what you need… Jesus.
to be continued…