Occasionally, you get a glimpse of what it is to be so far away and yet so very near.
This week, the British explorer, Henry Worsley, tragically died just thirty miles short of his destination, whilst attempting to become the first person to cross the Antarctic unaided and completely alone. He had been travelling for 71 days, covering more than 900 miles. He was only fifty-five years old.
Hearing this news made me pause to think, if only out of respect for someone who was not only determined to do something so daring and dangerous but also raise money for a worthy cause in the process. Worsley had raised more than £100,000 for his charity, The Endeavour Fund which helps injured servicemen and women recover from their injuries.
How far away do you feel from your destination? What would it take to make a big push? It may feel like the place you want to be is so very far away but who knows, it may only be a tiny bit further in comparison with where you’ve come from?
I was thinking along these lines the other day and I recalled a situation I found myself in which I have never forgotten.
We’re not talking life-threatening or anything like that. No, I was simply laying down some irrigation piping with a fellow worker when I lived on a kibbutz in Northern Israel. He was in charge and brought with him one shovel and one chair. I asked him why he only had one of each. His reply was classic in its bluntness, “The shovel is for you and the chair is for me.” Thankfully, he was joking and we took it in turns to do the actual work required.
At one point, I was straining my eyes to see how far we still had to go and muttered some moaning comment about the seemingly endless nature of the task. My co-worker, Gilad, gave me some advice that as I said, I have never forgotten, more than thirty years later, “Don’t look that way. Look behind and see how far we have come my friend.”