My guest blogger is Jim Noyes, now of the Ukraine but formerly of Leedey, OK. I met Jim when he came to my high school to coach one year. He writes as follows:
I enjoyed the recent philosophical posting on warnings. It prompted me to recall stupid decisions of the past. Hmmm. Basically decisions without counsel.
Yes, decisions. As a boy, I decided–as I did nearly every summer–to climb the huge cottonwood tree west of the house on the far side of the cow lot. It took all fingers and toes and some ingenious trust in the bark of the tree. When I got up to the first limb with a good hold, there was still a smaller trunk to scale. And this was fifteen to twenty feet above the ground.
It seemed the tree had changed from the year before. Instead of a slightly curved wall to inch up, I actually had a curved incline, giving me a better grip. I scrambled up and felt a considerable success of achievement. From my “bird’s eye” view of the ground, I could pretend I was Tarzan, although without vines to swing on.
In the prime of my ten-year-old life, I figured I could descend by crawling out to the extremity of a smaller cottonwood limb, weighting it just enough to bend it down toward mother earth. I figured my drop wouldn’t exceed eight or ten feet, on the upper slope side of the feed lot. The skimpy grass and water starved weeds would break my fall a bit. Hopefully, I wouldn’t land on grass burrs, goat heads or a chunk of broken glass. All went as planned, which led me to another escapade …
As a relative newlywed of 34, I decided to climb a rock face cliff just east of Las Cruces, NM, with my first wife’s college-age cousins. It was a favorite climb for students, as well. As it turned out, the cousins were astounded and pleased that stodgy “math teacher Jim” would climb with them. Eighty or a hundred feet up, my toes hanging on a two-inch strip of rock, I got a bit light-headed.
All I could think was, “Jim, what are you doing here?” I believe that was the precise question God asked Elijah when he ran from Jezebel. Well, likewise, that was certainly not a place I needed to be. I ceased all movement for about ten minutes to allow the oxygen level to return to the supposed brain. (That is, I froze.) Eventually I made it up the remaining thirty feet to the top.
Once there, I took the sensible walking pathway down the back side of the rock on the return trip. In forty plus years since, I’ve traveled “the roads most traveled.”
As has been said, the Lord protects babies and fools.
Thanks, Jim. You didn’t say which category you belong in.
For our readers, do you have a similar experience of an adventure which suddenly became an incredibly stupid endangerment of the life that God gave you? We’d like to hear about it.