Several years ago I wrote a column about a man whose name is Erik Weihenmayer. He is a mountaineer and is only one of some 150 people who have scaled the Seven Summits – the highest mountain peaks on all seven continents. Not only is Erik a mountaineer, he is also a teacher, athlete, author and motivational speaker. While in high school he joined the freestyle wrestling team and was inducted into the Connecticut National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. All of this is pretty impressive on its own, but what makes it even more so is Erik is blind, completely blind. In fact, complications eventually required the removal of his eyes.
Erik, who grew up in Connecticut, began to lose his sight at the age of 13. He was diagnosed with a disease called retinoschisis, but he refused to accept the idea that blindness would take away from him any opportunities that life had to offer him.
I first learned about Erik in a book that I read titled Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man’s Journey to Travel Farther Than the Eye Can See. Erik is a very accomplished individual; his latest adventure was kayaking with another blind man the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in September of 2014. This was a journey of 277 miles.
In 2005, Erik co-founded No Barriers, an organisation purposed to help the disadvantaged and those with special challenges live active and purposeful lives. Its motto is What’s In You Is Stronger Than What’s In Your Way! I think that that’s a pretty good motto to live by.
There is a Scripture that tells us: … for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4, English Standard Version.) This Scripture tells us Who it is that we can rely on, depend and trust. What’s in us, or maybe I should say Who is in us, is the Holy Spirit Who guides in the way we ought to go.
If we surrender to the Lord and His purpose for our lives, then we will be able to ‘Touch the Top of the World’ and know that God loves us more than we would ever dare dream.