One day in our home school I read to my children of a fireman and four of his fellows who rescued a man from a burning building. At the conclusion of the story the author referred to “six brave men.” At hearing this, the children said, in unison: “But there were only five brave men!” Of course the kids were referring to the five-man team of rescuers. We concluded together that the sixth man referred to must be the one who was rescued. Then I posed this question to the children. “Does it take courage to be rescued?” “Yes,” they resounded. “The man in the story had to be willing to jump from a window ledge high above the ground, away from a burning building, and grab hold of the coat of a fireman who was dangling over the roof top of a neighboring building and who was being kept secure by four other firemen sitting on his legs.” We concluded that yes, it takes courage to be rescued!
Every day we have the opportunity to observe efforts to rescue those among us who are in trouble or in danger of some kind. As observers we often acknowledge only the brave efforts of those doing the saving. After all, what choice does the endangered man have? Does he have a choice?
He can choose “not to choose” and simply go down in flames! Or, he can exert himself in the direction of his rescuer, reach out, cry out, let go, or just hang on to the will to live until help arrives. No matter what is required, it takes courage to take the action that moves the endangered toward those striving to save him. It required courage for the man in our story to leap into the promising emptiness.
Just as real is the courage required by those of us desiring to be rescued from the deadly flames of addictive substances, compelling destructive behaviors or from any of the trials of life that threaten to destroy. It always requires courage to flee the known enemy and enter the unknown, reach out, cry out, let go, or just hang on. The giant leap toward being saved has been broken down into 12 Steps. They are the detailed directions to those who finally recognize the peril they are in, to those who are being consumed by something beyond their control. God centered, principle-based progress is not passive.
The 12 Steps teach the endangered “natural man” exactly how to reach out to his Rescuer, his Savior, amid the flames that threaten his life. They teach us how to make the saving Atonement part of our lives today. It has been said that taking the steps is simple but not easy. When one is frozen in fear, engulfed by that which would take his life (physically or spiritually) even the simplest act of will takes undying courage, the courage to not die, to be saved from our sins, from our circumstances, from our infirmaries, from our sorrows, and from the compulsive addictive behaviors that threaten our very lives at worst, and at least the happiness of our lives. It takes courage to reach out to The Savior. Taking the structured gospel centered steps represents our brave effort to move in the direction of the Lord’s powerful, loving arms. The temptation to do faithless nothing or to pridefully attempt self-rescue is very real. Yes, it takes courage to be the “sixth brave man” and move toward “The Rescuer.” May God grant us that courage today!
By Nannette W.
Posted Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Copyright 2008 by Nannette W. All right reserved.
Making or sending copies is permitted if the page is not changed in any way and the material is not used for profit. This notice must be included on each copy made or sent.