Going from where I left off yesterday, how does a person take on a task with a significant possibility of death, loss of limb, mental incapacitation, and manage to relate to most of the people in the world? I watch documentaries on astronauts for motivation. Every guy in Apollo would have volunteered to be in Apollo 1 at the time. None of the astronauts on Challenger said, "we should wait for warmer weather" in 1986 before launching and none of the astronauts on Columbia said "we should take pictures of the heat shield with the possibility of repair". Mountain climbers die in ones and twos and sometimes larger groups, but generally, everyone accepts that they are somewhat crazy. Same for astronauts.
Most people don't have the type of goals that involve death so vividly. That's probably for the continuance of society. I mean it's probably not the most healthy to do activities like BASE jumping. Yet, there exists a seriousness to these activities, a professionalism, that is quite engaging. When you could die, you are going to make sure you have your mittens, headlamp, and harness in working order. That's not the main reason we do these things, we do them because it is truly challenging, because we do not know if we will be able to do them. They are a strong test of us. What is possible? Anything, but maybe not for us.
There is a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. I really like: "Like anybody, I would like to have a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will." That is just so good! What does Everest have to do with God's will? Well, if I die the one thing I want people to know about the entirety of my life and my work is: Jesus loves me. That's it, three words uttered in a song by elementary school kids around the world. If I don't die, well, that's really the one thing I want people to know anyway I suppose. In the context of everything, nothing else matters.
Writing, and saying, things like this are one thing, people do it all the time. But MLK, he did it. I mean, the reverend really lived it. But we live lives so removed from seriousness. I struggle to tell a woman I am attracted to her. I fail to really put effort into correcting my bad habits. Yet, there is a distinct possibility I don't live to June. The things that are important in the context of the next few months of my life, are just not important to most people, and certainly not with the immediacy they are important to me.
Frankly, I just want to pour out all of this to a person. Some of it ends up on my blog, some my parents has to listen to, and still other aspects my friends have to listen. It's just such a vulnerability, worth crying about. My friends and family that read this, I just don't know. I mean, thank GOD for all of his grace and blessings! I'm 27 years old and I have had three solid opportunities to die, just while climbing, not counting the electrocution, or other domestic occurrence. My life, insignificant. My work, insignificant. My impact on others… well I can count one person who I know I made a difference in her life, and if that is the only one, well at least there was one.