Who are you ignoring?
While doing sermon prep on Tuesday evening, I ran across a morbid story of self-centeredness and selfishness.
After Hillary and Norgay scaled Mt. Everest in 1953, large numbers of climbers flooded Nepal for their chance at fame. The initial men to scale the peak had created a code for all mountaineers to abide by. The code, unwritten, held climbers to care for all other climbers and to never leave anyone behind.
Over time and with eroding regard for the code, climbers soon made achieving the summit the only important goal. Horror stories began to emerge from the mountain. One such casualty was David Sharp who in 2006 had achieved the summit and began his descent. His oxygen gone and health deteriorating, he lay dying and in their pursuit to reach the peak, at least 40 climbers walked by the dying man and none stopped to assist. Imagine having oxygen to share and none of the climbers thought it important to help a dying (fellow) climber.
How often do we walk past fellow life travelers who are dying and we rarely look their way much less come to their aid. Potential deaths can be averted with food and water or proper medical care. The deaths of which I speak have to do with something far more vital. The other night at men's group, we heard a man on the video presentation say "nothing else matters to him than to know his family is walking with Christ and will spend eternity with him in heaven."
Jesus Christ offered His life as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. Too often we forget His gift and worse still forget His gift needs to be shared. There are people proverbially lying along the roadside dying of spiritual hypoxia and we are too busy attending to our own ventures to stop and assist the semi-conscious woman or man. How we must devalue Christ's sacrifice and undermine our supposed salvation. We must stop being consumers of Christ's gift of grace and begin anew to be sellers of it with everyone we meet.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all
comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the
comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives,
so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if
we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same
sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our
sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the
hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to
endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this
happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
(2 Corinthians 2:1-9, NIV)
(While out on the streets, keep watchful for those who are dying.)