A Most Excellent Adventure
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
Sire Ernest Shackleton was a British explorer. He was born at Kilkee, Ireland on February 15, 1874. He was educated at Dulwich College and served in the merchant marines. He was also a lieutenant in the Royal Navy Reserve. But he is known primarily for his expeditions to Antarctica. He established all kinds of new records in exploring this continent at the bottom of the earth.
On one occasion while he was there, he ascended Mount Erebus, a mountain covered with ice, 13,120 feet high. On January 16, 1909, he determined the position of the south magnetic pole.
On another expedition his ship, The Endurance, got caught in an ice pack and sank. He had to leave 22 men behind. And with five companions he made a 1200-mile journey in a 22-foot whaleboat through the stormiest ocean in the world to South Georgia, an island of the coast of Argentina, for help. After four attempts, the stranded men who had been left behind were rescued more than ten months later.
On his return trip to the Antarctic, Shackleton had a sudden heart attack and died at sea. His life was a life of exploration and pioneering and adventure and challenge.
Before taking one of his trips to the Antarctic, he assimilated his crew by putting the following ad in a London newspaper: "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages; bitter cold; long months of complete darkness; constant danger; safe return doubtful; honor and recognition in case of success."
The ad was signed by Shackleton. Thousand responded instantly to the call. They were ready to sacrifice all for the elation of adventure and uncertain honor.
My question to this morning is this: Should God's children do less?
As I give this concluding message highlighting the report of our Strategic Planning Committee, I want to call you to a most exciting adventure. There are risks involved. But if there were no risks, why would we ever be challenged to have faith?
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