Someone related this account ten-plus years ago. It taught me an important lessom about letting go of a challenge we can't yet face and being patient while waiting for the actual solution to our "unsolvable problems".
I vaguely remembered David's account (below) but it had blended into a similar story--also involving someone stranded after losing a battle against rapids. Which details belonged to which? I decided not to post either until I had at least one of the accounts sorted out.
Here at last is David's complete account,
A man found himself floating down the rapids in a river at the bottom of a canyon, miles from anywhere, in the middle of a wilderness area with his ankle broken in half.
Having been trained on how to get out of the rapids, he determined that he would get to the shore, and he did.
Not having been trained in what to do with a broken ankle in the bottom of a canyon...he determined that he would walk out of the canyon and up the steep, rocky path just as he had come down.
He did not.
You see, his ankle had the deciding vote, and it had decided that walking up a rocky slope was not in its best interest.
So, in an effort to appease the broken ankle, the man tried to walk using a crutch made from a tree.
Which was a brilliant idea...
If he had been walking on a smooth sidewalk going downhill for a short distance.
But he wasn’t.
He was next to a river at the bottom of a canyon, miles from anywhere, in the middle of a wilderness area with his ankle broken in half.
So he decided to think of every possible solution and to choose the best one.
From helicopters to climbing teams, he imagined every possible means to get out of the canyon that was miles from anywhere, in the middle of a wilderness area—with his ankle broken in half.
But while he was thinking, a raft came around the corner.
Which was interesting, because even though he had tried to think of every possible solution he had never thought of a raft.
But that wasn’t all.
Because in the raft was a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician.
Which was particularly interesting, because the man with the broken ankle didn’t know there was such a thing as a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician and he certainly didn’t expect one to be on a raft that he hadn’t even thought of.
Well, the Wilderness EMT made a splint with duct tape and branches from a tree and put the man in his raft, and later that night they camped at a beautiful spot on the river and ate chicken fajitas and strawberry shortcake.
Which was interesting, because the man with the broken ankle thought that he would be eating the dehydrated eggs that he had in his backpack.
Then he realized that a lot of things he hadn’t thought of and a lot of things that he had thought of had turned out in ways that he never thought out.
Which is why I am telling you this story.
I was the man with the broken ankle.
And that day next to the river at the bottom of a canyon, miles from anywhere in the middle of a wilderness area with my ankle broken in half...
I learned that I could not possible imagine all of the amazing things that were in store for me in my life.
Proust says that we shouldn’t look for new vistas, but instead look with fresh eyes.
No matter what life is throwing at us, there is a raft around the corner that we cannot see.
Don’t look for it; it cannot be seen.
Don’t predict when it will appear; it’s not on your timetable.
Don’t doubt that it exists, for doubts will cloud your eyes and cause you to give up before it arrives.
Don’t give up; give in.
Give in to the idea that positive events are in your future, even if you can’t see them.
Give in to the idea that positive events are in your future, even if you can’t imagine what they could possibly be.
There’s a raft around the corner.