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Close Calls
By: Jack Severens


Have you ever experienced one of those close calls that made you think, "WoW, I must be here for a reason because that was TOO close".  I have had a couple of those occasions (that I know about, right?  I'm sure there have been plenty of close calls that I have no clue how close they actually were) Here is one such story that comes to mind.  When I was in my 20's I was at Mammoth mountain in California skiing. I was at the top of the mountain and I was looking for some fresh powder. It was a foggy day. I found some powder (knee deep) and I made several good turns. Then for no apparent reason I fell. Dissappointed by this "bad luck" I composed myself and was able to right myself using my ski pole. I heard someone yelling from above. A gondola passed about 30 feet over my head and one of the people in the gondola shouted down at me "Dude, do not continue to ski down. Traverse across the hill until you hit the hard pack snow and then ski down" I didn't have time to ask why because the gondola was moving fast. I obeyed his directions, still skiing in limited visability. When I got to the bottom of the run I looked up in an attempt to figure out what had happened up there. I had to wait for the fog to clear which took a few minutes but when it did everything became "clear" to me. I looked up and saw my fresh tracks in the powder, several clean turns. I could tell they were mine because my tracks were the only ones in the fresh snow up there. I then could clearly see where I fell due to all of the "commotion" on the snow.

What I saw next sent a chill down my spine and goose bumps all over my arms.  Below the markings in the snow from my fall there was a 10 foot gap of more fresh virgin snow and then...........an 85 foot tall sheer rock cliff face!! One more good turn and I would have had an early appointment with my maker. Why did I "trip" when I did? Why was the gondola positioned directly over my head ? No one will ever know I guess but there are several metaphors and life lessons hidden in this story for me.
 


I'm sure that you have had some "close calls" like this too.  After you have had such a close call have you ever sat down to think, "why did God spare me?"  Does it make you think about your purpose.  What am I here for?  I guess that these moments can be called wake up calls.  But do we wake up?  Do we take the opportunity to actually follow the purpose that is made clear in those moments of ephipany?  Hopefully we do.  Hopefully more of us will begin living with purpose rather than living to collect a paycheck or living for the weekend.  I am guilty of not living with purpose far too often. 


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Close Calls
By: Jack Severens
   
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