For some years after my long hospitalisation in 1998, I used to give thanks daily to God for being well and alive. But like many, I suspect, I began to slip back into taking things for granted until recently. I heard a radio programme discussing nano-robots. This field of technology is about designing robots several hundred times smaller than the tip of a human hair. In time, such robots could be programmed to execute micro-surgery and a host of other delicate operations in the field of medicine and other engineering areas. However, the scientist being interviewed remarked that Nature is so much better at doing things at a micro-level that we are decades away from any significant competition with the natural state of things. This got me thinking whilst on a run – a delightful way to clear the mind – that God, or if you are less inclined to believe in one, a Higher Power, has put so much design quality into a blade of grass or a common housefly. The design issue itself is the best explanation perhaps for His existence and my own personal desire to thank Him for every day. If we can only find more ways daily to be thankful for what we have, I think we are closer to being happier and fulfilled.
On July 12th, Grant Rawlinson,Rudolf Rother and I stood on the summit of Mt Elbrus. At 5642m, Elbrus is the highest peak in Europe and lies in the Russian Caucuses mountain range; not far from the Black Sea. Battling fierce winds on the summit plateau, the team climbed to the top in a 10 hour round trip from their campsite at 4200m. Highlights of the day included watching the triangular shadow of Elbrus stretching across the plains below and climbing the final steep headwall as showers of spindrift poured down from the higher slopes. The actual traverse to the headwall and the final summit plateau was longer than expected, and both menatlly and physically hard.
But applying the Eating the Yak principle, we just had to break down the hard challenge into smaller chunks, making the overall result much more attainable.