Survival from the clutch of chaos depends on wisdom and resilience. Sometimes only cool, focused thinking, coupled with clever, ingenious ideas, saves the day. Those wise enough to recognize a situation for what it really is, not what they wish it to be, and who possess resiliency and discipline have the best odds of survival.
On Aug. 5, 1949, the fire at Mann Gulch took the lives of 13 U.S. Forest Service (USFS) smokejumpers in Montana’s Helena National Forest. The deadly fire has been the subject of official inquiry, academic study, at least one well-researched book.
Robert Sallee was one of three survivors. In his retelling of the events, he believes that the reason these 13 very brave firemen didn’t survive was not because they were slow or didn’t have enough time. But rather because they refused to heed the warning to drop their tools and run to safety.
Disoriented and confused, they fled the lurching fire front, what Maclean called “a race they couldn’t win” against 30-foot flames advancing at an estimated 660 feet per minute. Researchers believe the smokejumpers lost their sense of meaning in the chaos, with the order to drop tools running counter to what they believed about themselves.
Life is the same way. I have witnessed how connected people are to their tools. Don’t mess with a man in his workshop. They are often hesitant to lend them and don’t want to part with them. Sometimes they even have names for their coveted tools.
The mission is clear. The tools are there to support the mission. They are necessary. But, we are so dependent upon our tools for our identity, and we are so comfortable holding them in our hands that we often refuse to let them go when necessary.
We are too comfortable!
We then miss the call from God to “drop your tools and go!” Jesus does the most work in us when we are uncomfortable!!!!! When we know Him, it grabs not only our ears but also our hearts. When He reaches us, it changes us!
We must heed the call. Our mission is clear. When we are DISCIPLINED in our walk by studying His word, sharing the light, having a relationship with Him, and helping others to find their way home…THAT is when our mission is served.
If you are wandering through life unfulfilled… this is why. Discipline will make way for us to heed the call and drop our tools when necessary. There we find all that is currently missing in order to fill our empty holes.