While I have been home sick the last several days, I have spent some time watching a show called Everest: Beyond the Limit. Why? Because you can stream it for free on Netflix and I had already watched everything else in my apartment. This show is so addicting. It is unbelievable to me that people pay money to put themselves through that kind of torture. (*cough* Zach *cough*) But I have a huge amount of respect for them as well.
One thing that they focus on in the show (as all people who climb Everest need to focus on) is something called the Death Zone. I know, the name really sells it. Here are a few fun facts about the Death Zone:
- It is any place above 26,000 ft above sea level.
- It is the point where the amount of oxygen available cannot sustain human life.
- Your body starts consuming its own flesh to survive (that’s disgusting).
Everest is 29,028 feet, so you spend about 2-3 days in the Death Zone in order to Summit and then come back down, depending on how fast you climb. Most people spend that time with supplemental oxygen, but even that doesn’t keep them clear headed. But still, in order to summit, you have to go through it.
This is going to be a real stretch of a comparison, but it got me thinking about life and our mountain top times and our valley times. We all have our dreams and our goals. We long for our summits. We all have our Everests. But, a lot of times to get there, we have to go through our own Death Zones. We have to fight through something that is sucking the life out of us, something that we can’t live in forever, in order to get to the life that we long for. The mountain top.
So here are my tips for going through life’s Death Zones:
- Prepare. You know it’s going to happen. Life isn’t easy all the time and you are going to have to face trials eventually. God has given us His Word to strengthen ourselves with and to train for the battle (or the climb). So prepare yourself by reading His Word daily.
- Don’t go alone. Find people that have already been in the Death Zone to go with you. They might not know what it’s like to travel your unique journey, but they know what it’s like in the Death Zone. Trust them. Take them with you. Don’t go alone.
- Use supplemental oxygen. Sometimes we just need a little extra help. Sometimes that means we need to go see a counsellor for a little while. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, there is everything right with that. With a little extra oxygen, there is a little extra clarity of thought, a little extra energy, and a little less chance of frost bite (a lasting scar).
- Trust your expedition leader. God is not going to let you go. He is going to keep watching you as you journey on. He is keeping a close watch on the weather and the approaching storms and is going to keep whispering in your ear. Trust Him.
Like I said, it’s sort of a stretch, but it’s what I have learned during my time stuck on the couch.