I’m about to
finish reading “The Indifferent Stars Above” by Daniel James Brown – the tragic
story of the popular Donner Celebration, soon after whom Donner Pass and Donner Lake in
northeastern California are named.
It is about a
group of emigrants who left rural Illinois on foot and in horse-drawn wagons in
the spring of 1846 to discover a much better life in California exactly where the climate and
pending theft of the territory from Mexico promised prosperity.
brothers Jacob and George Donner, the group of almost 90 men and women attempted a new and
supposedly shorter route to California. They quickly encountered rough terrain and
quite a few delays and ultimately became trapped by heavy snowfall higher in the
Sierra Nevada Mountains.
weakened by the cold and harsh situations, they had been reported to have resorted
to cannibalism. Only about half of the group reached California the following
year. As their story became extensively recognized, “Donner Party” became connected with
one particular of society’s most ingrained taboos.
association with cannibalism is unfortunate simply because the group exhibited an
unbelievable quantity of determination and courage. Once more and once again, they struggled
to save themselves, but the extremely uncommon quantity of snow, the depletion of
their sources, widespread illness and weakness and an ignorance about the
topography doomed them.
It happens to
me that amongst the qualities exhibited by the Donner Celebration, one particular stands out for
these of us browsing for God: determination. So just what is determination?
One particular of the
dictionary’s definitions is the “firm or fixed intention to obtain a preferred
finish.” It also incorporates, I think, the resolve to overcome obstacles, and there
are lots of in the search for God.
is the society in which we reside. To be truthful, there’s a lot to be stated in society’s
defense. The globe is complete of revolutionary, productive men and women who have produced life
less complicated, tamed horrible ailments and geometrically elevated information of
ourselves and our universe.
Lots of historical
evils – such as slavery, despotism and ignorance – have been largely overcome.
And in spite of what we may perhaps see on the Evening News, I think the vast majority of
men and women are sort, compassionate and generally superior.
But it is not
a superior time to search for God. God and religion are becoming subjects that are as
taboo as cannibalism. Consumerism and prosperity – in the western globe, at
least – make the tips of dependence on God and trust in him/her as quaint as
the dial phone. Lots of young men and women are turned off by standard religion
with its perceived emphasis on doctrine, ritual and authority. And widespread
reports of clergy abuse of kids and other malfeasance amongst believers does
absolutely nothing to make “church” additional eye-catching.
greatest obstacle in our search for God may perhaps be ourselves. We may perhaps lack the grit
it requires to be independent of society’s pulls and shoves. We may perhaps let
ourselves to be so busy with our lives, we have tiny time to be thoughtful
about life itself. We may perhaps lack the courage to take the threat that is essential of
faith, to accept uncertainty, just as we do about each and every other aspect of life.
soon after all, is a important element of determination. Winston Churchill, who
continually encouraged his men and women throughout the dark period of the intensive
bombing of England throughout Globe War II, is stated to have asserted: “Success is not final, failure not fatal it is the courage to continue that counts.”
In writing to inhabitants of
Corinth in Greece only a dozen or so years soon after Jesus’ death, the apostle Paul
offered his personal lesson in determination with an analogy to athletics.
“Do you not know that in a
race all the runners compete but only one particular receives the prize? So run that you
may perhaps get it. Every single athlete workout routines self-handle in all issues. They do it
to get a perishable wealth, but we an imperishable one particular.”