At the First Blush of Dawn

At the first blush of dawn, my hiking partner rudely woke me up saying, “It is too cold to sleep. Let’s forget breakfast and hike down to the camp.” We were bivouacking near the summit, which meant that we were only sleeping in our jackets with our ponchos wrapped around us. He had consumed all his hard candies we had set aside to increase our body temps to enable sweet Morpheus to return. I was seduced by the thought of that steaming sweet porridge beckoning me from down in the valley. Big Mistake!

Soon, we were descending down through the trackless wastes one finds above the treeline, guessing at our route up. Sure enough, I meandered right while Dan strode left. I found myself with a rock wall to the right and a drop-off on my left. After a while, having slid down a few tough spots, but still descending the ledge, I espied my friend down in the ravine that we had ascended the previous morn, but I still couldn’t perceive the route to join him. With visions of retracing my route and ascending those very difficult spots worrying my mind, I forged ahead. Finally, the ledge ended in a cliff.

I mulled over my options. I could jump and try to catch the top of the pine tree, I could attempt to return or I could wedge myself into a crack and rock climb to safety. All seemed equally unpalatable. When in doubt, eat. I, fortunately, had retained the breakfast, and proceeded to consume the cold repast meant for two. With my blood sugar restored, I again surveyed my three prospects, and blushed.

That split that looked so difficult had dirt in it, like a ramp. I merely needed to lower myself 6 feet to the top and walked down to the blessed route home. My foodless muzzy thinking had almost caused me to kill myself jumping for a pine. Soon I was strolling down toward camp, with dreams of imitating a Hobbit and having second breakfast.

Upon my arrival, Dan exclaimed, the blueberries around here only have the first blush of blue. Let’s mount a raiding expedition to the ripe fields down yonder. I looked at him and growled, “Not until I have a solid breakfast.”

Unlike on top or the peak, I was able to resist him this time because I had learned that what is right for him may not be right for me. So often, we impose our viewpoint on others, assuming that what works for me is what is best for “him.” I think about this when talking to others about Jesus. Some people have a standard witnessing technique, focusing on going to heaven. I blush when I watch a friend launch into his spiel and watch the victim look every which way, signaling to the totally unobservant that he wants to escape. I focus on listening and commenting appropriately. Some want love, others need worth, certain ones crave forgiveness, etc. I turn to those verses, rather than focusing inescapably on eternal life. Listening and understanding prevent you from attaining that rosy cheeked experience.

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