I caught the news yesterday that aviation adventurer, Steve Fossett, is missing. Rescuers are searching a 600 square mile region of the Nevada desert region to see if they can locate him or his plane which went missing yesterday. The biggest challenge: Fossett never filed a flight plan. The story took me back to the incredible tale of Aron Ralston who went hiking in Utah's Blue John Canyon in May 2003 and was suddenly trapped by a boulder. After several days without food or hope, Ralston eventually snapped his radius and ulna bones and severed his own arm with a multi use tool he was fortunate to have with him. Ralston's first mistake: He never told anyone where he was going.
These stories have made me pause and ask myself the question: Who really knows where I'm going? Am I flying solo or hiking alone? Who is aware of my journey?
The writer of Ecclesiastes 4:8-12 reflects on this important issue:
There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" This too is meaningless— a miserable business! Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Life was never meant to be lived in isolation. God has made me for community--to be together. It's not just for my joy. It's for my protection. I am grateful for the people around me who know my flight plan. They know the coordinates of my heart and the direction I'm walking. They check in on my welfare (like a dear brother did this morning) and they rescue me when I'm lost in the desert places. I can't imagine going at it alone.