Over a decade ago I watched an interview of a young college student who had gone hiking in the wilderness with two friends. The unimaginable happened. A bear approached and attacked the young man. The bear left but returned shortly and attacked him again. The two friends intervened and scared the bear away from their injured friend. The details of the attack were gruesome.
As he shared his story I was overcome with amazement on how God provides, heals and is in control. One of the friends of the injured man was a paramedic/EMT who provided immediate medical care while the other friend, a marathon runner, ran the many miles for help. Fortunately the injured young man made a full recovery after several surgeries.
As a mother of a teenage son that was preparing to leave for college, I saw this story as an opportunity to share life lessons- aka parental speech. I am always quick to see the moral of the story. I began to share the details with my son. I certainly was touched and moved to tears at God’s mercy and provision.
“Your friends matter,” I told him. “Your choices matter. People that spend time with you matter. Life is full of choices that matter. Where you go and who you are with matters.”
He nodded. I continued on.
“My question to you today is who have you surrounded yourself with? Do you have friends that build you up or tear you down, friends that share your goals or distract you, people that help you get your eyes off the crisis and onto the ONE who gives peace, hope and victory? Or have you found yourself stuck in the pit along with other pit dwellers. What about your coworkers? Do you join in the negativity or are you the one who shares joy and encouragement? Today would you stop and remember how big your God is. He is in the details of your life and wants to use you in the lives of others. Be His hands and feet today. You can make a difference.”
My son listened quite attentively as I warned that the moral of the story is the importance of the choice of friends.
My crazy son blankly looked at me and said, “No, mom. The moral of the story is don’t get mauled by a bear!”
Well, yes, that too.