Keep Moving, Part Two: Lessons Learned
It was getting colder. We were now in the late afternoon about 1,000 feet from the summit of Pike’s Peak. We were so close to our destination! Months of preparation led to this moment and now, in the middle of the trail, we weren’t moving. Our fellow intern couldn’t take another step, in his own words. He was spent, incoherent, taking shallow breaths, and very lethargic. “What do I do?” I thought to myself.
I’ll be honest. The temptation was right at the top of my mind to allow his group to deal with him and keep moving with my group. Well, I discovered I wasn’t the only one thinking this. In fact, his group had already moved on and left him behind! I knew I couldn’t leave him like this so I asked him questions to assess the situation. We stepped to the side as best as we could in order to let the other hikers go around us. This was getting dangerous, especially as the trail became more and more crowded this last stretch to the top. We had to figure out a solution fast.
The funny thing is, I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t an expert hiker. I wasn’t even a real leader at this point. I was a new intern hoping to have this incredible mountain-top experience and I didn’t even know anyone in the current group I was with. How did I get myself into this situation? One thing I’ve learned early on in my life because of moments just like this one is that you don’t always get to choose the moments that define you. Many times, the moment finds you. Depending on what you do with them, they could change the trajectory of your life and others for the good or bad.
I could’ve chosen to ignore the person right in front of me. Instead, something rose up in me and I said “Let’s do this!” The last thing I had in my sack was a pack of jelly from our PB&J break. He needed sugar in his system. I said, “Eat this as we start taking a few steps at a time. It will give you energy and I will have my hand on your back pushing you forward every step of the way.” He fought me for a minute telling me that he just wanted me to leave him be. I said, “No, you’ve come too far and you are making it to the top!” “Let’s go!”
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2
This guy wasn’t my responsibility. Or was he? I didn’t know him very well, but I had seen him around campus. The fact is, this moment was presented to me. Maybe he wasn’t my responsibility according to worldly standards, but I couldn’t choose to ignore him. This young guy my age needed help and encouragement. I had no desire to be lifting someone else’s burden on this trip but here I was pushing someone to their destination.
I have found more often than not we become narrow-minded in life and we get tunnel vision when it comes to our daily routines. We forget that we are not islands. God put us here to make a difference and to help others on their journey, not just our own. I could’ve passed by like many others, and my celebration at the top would’ve been short-lived. The only reward I would’ve had was my own. Instead, I gave my strength to someone else who had none left and now as we neared the last few feet, I witnessed a miraculous event. “Jimmy” (not his real name) looked up and saw the finish line. Something supernatural took over his body. With tears and resolve in his eyes, strength filled his body to run to the end! When he reached the top, he jumped up and down declaring, “I’ve never done anything like this in my life! I never thought I could do this!” He hugged me and we celebrated as others began high-fiving him and congratulating him.
That afternoon he recounted through pictures and the telling of the story his amazing accomplishment. I didn’t receive any accolades from anyone, nor was I looking for any. One thing however did happen. My trip to the top just became much more rewarding as I saw someone do something that seemed impossible to them. He was overweight and asthmatic. He was not in good shape. I don’t think he ever was according to his own admission, and despite his efforts on the trails months before in preparation, something amazing took place that day. Someone believed in God for bigger things in their lives than they ever thought possible. And it happened!
We all face insurmountable objects or situations in front of us from time to time. When this happens, we tend to freeze. Sometimes you think to yourself, “This isn’t worth it” and you want to turn back. KEEP MOVING. If you can’t, ask for help. We have people all around us just as in the story above. Many pass us by consumed with their own desires and oblivious to the needs of those before them. Find the one who sees you. There are people you may know or maybe even strangers, but they have a reputation for helping. Reach out to them. Sometimes all we need is a hand on our back and someone to tell us “Let’s go! Keep moving…”
Maybe you’re the one passing others by on your way to your destination. Look around and see who needs you. When you get to the top and you have no one with you to celebrate, it gets very lonely. You may have achieved all you have set out to do, but with no one to congratulate you, high-five you, give you a hug, and cry tears of joy, what’s the point? Life is served much better when you have someone next to you that came along the journey. If you don’t have anyone, find someone to help. Keep your eyes open and look for the opportunity. It may seem like a burden at first but in reality, it is your moment. In doing so, you help that individual go farther than they ever thought possible and you yourself find joy in knowing you helped them get there!
– “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” – Luke 6:31
About the Author
David Grimm and his wife, Kelly, own Chick-fil-A on University Avenue in West Des Moines, Iowa. David and Kelly have been in the restaurant business since 2011. They opened Chick-fil-A in 2015 and have grown the University Avenue location by more than 250% since they started. David is incredibly proud of his top-notch team, quality products, and most of all, the remarkable guest experience his team provides on a daily basis. Since 2015, his location has donated roughly $1 million to the community and team through food donations, support, and education assistance. David and Kelly love being able to live out their faith through their words and deeds every day. They have four children and live in West Des Moines, Iowa.