It’s the call you never want to get. It’s what happens to other people, that is, until your phone rings. Grief like a grave with both ends kicked out stretches on and on.
Sometimes it’s a medical prognosis that confirms our worst fear; an unjust accusation that is most difficult to bear.
We are not secure, none of us are, against cares and losses.
Our lives are not fairy tales, our days ahead not defined by those idyllic last six words of a child’s bedtime reading fantasy.
In an out-of-the-way place, difficult to get to and a struggle every inch of the way, we found help when our hearts were overwhelmed.
On a rock.
A mountain top.
Like Randy Alcorn, who wrote, “Mountain climbers could save time and energy if they reached the summit in a helicopter, but their ultimate purpose is conquest, not efficiency. Sure, they want to reach a goal, but they desire to do it by testing and deepening their character, discipline, and resolve.”
Alcorn has a mountain to climb. Though rocky, narrow, and very hard, it’s not physical exertion that prompts him to put pen to paper.
“I write these words,” said Alcorn, “not from a lofty philosophical perch, but in the crucible of my precious wife Nanci’s battle against cancer. This is not theory to us; it is life.”
Do you know what you can see as a result of that struggle says Alcorn?
Everything that matters.
There, above the threatening clouds and teeming crowds, not lost in the forest below where helplessly wandering, nameless people struggle for purpose and meaning.
On the rock, the peak, there is renewed perspective of what after all is significant, in large measure learned and earned through the struggle to arrive.
On the rock I’m a duet with Johnny Nash (1972): “I can see clearly now; the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day.”
“Solid as the Rock of Gibraltar” is the historically inspired motto that had its origins in the “Royal Gibraltar Regiment” which in turn, over the centuries, successively and successfully defended the rock and its people despite long sieges. Reason? The rock. Not so much who they were but where they were. “Nulli Expugnabilis Hosti”, Latin for “No Enemy Shall Expel Us” references the rock to describe a person or situation that cannot be overcome and does not fail.
There’s even a publication called “The Gibraltar Chronicle” and a website with daily news of the Rock.
When overwhelmed, resort to the rock.