Unbelievable!! Is the best word I can think of to tell this story!
I’m in the Blue Mountains with my family for Christmas break. I stay active with my practice, but break occasionally to be out and about with family and friends.
Yesterday, my son and I took a good friend out snowmobiling who had little experience on a sled, but enough that I didn’t worry about his judgments.
We zipped up to the top of a mountain with a gorgeous view and wide open meadows to spin around on. Within five minutes, I noticed my friend venturing over into what we call “no man’s land” on a long side slope of the canyon edge. It was “no man’s land” for our trail sleds because once you go a bit over the edge, you never get back up. It’s down, down, down all the way to the bottom of the canyon, and no one in our family wants to find out what happens if you ever slide that far!
Well, my friend was oblivious, and I hadn’t forewarned him. It was too late for me to reach him. I helplessly watched as he frantically tried to steer back up the hill, but to no avail. Down, down, down, he went zigzagging most of the way until he stopped dead still in a huge snowdrift just above the tree line.
I got off my sled, walked over the edge of the hill to find him, and there he was standing waist deep in snow looking miserably at his snow-sunken sled.
My son and I made our way down the hill to help. We huffed and dug and huffed and sweated and yanked and pulled for 90 minutes, and moved the sled 6 feet. No way were we going to get that sled back up the mountain side.
I stopped. I listened. I prayed.
Seeing no other option, I decided to point the sled downhill, and go all the way to the bottom, hoping for a turnaround opportunity, and the possibility of gaining enough speed to zip up the canyon wall to the top.
I paced a path downhill to leave markings to follow, because split-second decisions would be required. I got on the sled, took a huge breath, sent another prayer to heaven, started the engine, and down I went through the snowdrifts and trees. Through the grace of God I made it safely to the bottom and found a place to circle back. But right when I almost made my complete loop, I slid past a crucial turn, and wham-o, into a deep snowdrift I sunk. The sled was locked into the depths, and would not budge even slightly.
I was bummed, but not despondent.
I listened for answers. None came.
I yelled to the top of the canyon. No response.
No one knew what had happened to me. I was alone. It would be dark in an hour. I was miles from home.
There was nothing I could physically do, so I headed toward the top of the canyon, hoping to get the boys, bring them down and help me out.
I knew God’s power was there. I had nothing to fear. And I did not fear. I was expectant of getting out, totally, one way or the other. I just didn’t know how or what way!
With confidence that all was well and would be well I tromped up the hill through waist deep snow. No sooner did I exit the trees and begin my ascent, but a whiz-bang, state-of-the-art, high-tech, mighty powered machine, with the noise to match, raced out of the woods to my left zipping up the hill at an astronomical speed. I jump over a bit to avoid getting hit. The sled was a blur whipping past me, but shortly makes a sudden turn back down the hill, swooshing over from the right and stopping right smack in front of me. The rider, in his high-tech colorful garb, stands up, lifts the shield on his helmet, and I am astounded. It’s my brother!!
You have to understand that my brother is like one of the most capable and advanced snowmobile drivers in the country. He has tackled the most difficult of difficult terrains from the Pacific Northwest to the Rockies in Canada. Out of the hundreds of different places he could have been sledding this weekend, and the thousands and thousands of acres he could have been traversing in the Blue Mountains, he crosses my path exactly when I need him most. He had no previous idea I was there. None.
With a smile on his face, and not another word to add, he says to me, “Are you stuck?”
I spare him the details and point back into the woods.
He cheerfully responds, “No problem. We’ll get you out.”
He tags down his partner, and comes back a few minutes later. He builds a trail in front of my sled with his, and within 3-4 minutes, I am unstuck and sailing up the mountain side to freedom, pumping my fist in the air as I get to the top letting the other boys know we finally got the sled out of the canyon!
My brother is gone in a dash continuing his adventure. I said to my friend and my son, “That was my angel!”
And he truly was.
Unbelievable! To the human mind, I suppose, but looking back, totally believable from a spiritual point of view. God is always with us and sends us the aid we need in the form that is most helpful when we need it.
Later, I asked myself, “How could that possibly have happened? What was going on in thought that allowed that seemingly miraculous turn of events to occur?”
The best answer I have is that I never allowed my thinking to turn negative. When I first saw my friend jammed in the drift, I made a conscious decision to not allow one negative or critical thought to enter my consciousness about the incident. I was going to see only goodness, and make sure my buddy didn’t feel any kind of condemnation or burden about the accident. I was committed to loving my way through it, and accept solutions as they appeared. We all kept a very positive attitude the whole time, and were fully expectant of finding a solution somehow, someway. And we did. God sent an angel.
Thank you God!