When I lived in the Philippines as a Peace Core Volunteer a long time ago, I lived in a tiny village in which a jeepney would come through a couple times a day. So, if you wanted to go any serious distance, you climbed aboard. Most people (most sane people) climbed inside, but since I was young and I hated sharing a seat with various live stock (I had my issues) I would step on the sideboard and hang on for dear life. So away we would go…and believe me those Filipino drivers knew how to drive! How we didn’t end up over the edge one of the multitude of mountainsides, I’ll never know. (It could have been my prayers, but I doubt it as I never seemed to finish one before I reduced it to “Oh, Lord, save me…”) But I did learn one very important thing, perhaps one of the most important things I ever learned, and that was to simply hang on.
It dawned on me as we curved at a precipitous speed around precipitous cliffs that I could easily slip to my death. And I distinctly remember thinking “What if I fall?” and I remember thinking just as distinctly, “Don’t.”
Life is full of precipitous moments. Some we create through foolish naiveté or through situations we never asked for, but the message is really the same – hang on – don’t slip. It is rather like the scene in The Lord of the Rings where Frodo is hanging over the hot lava and he has to reach up to be saved.
So we all have to hang on, reach up, and pray our ways out of life’s hard times.