“Let us begin with it in the morning, and at every spare moment remember that we have the boldness to stand in the Most Holy Place. Oh to be as intent on this high quest as the man of science to discover nature’s secrets; as the businessman to make a fortune; as the brave explorer to extort the secret from the Polar Seas!” – F. B. Meyer, Great Verses Through the Bible This week my daughter had a Veterans writing assignment and wanted to know if I knew of any Veterans, so she could write about their story. I told her the story of my first cousin’s son, Chad Jukes. Chad grew up in Utah and joined the Army after high school. In 2006, Chad was serving in Iraq when his transport vehicle drove over an anti-tank mine.
The explosion blasted through the cab of the truck where he was sitting and shattered his heel, along with breaking his leg. After being rescued, doctors thought they might be able to save his leg with several surgeries, but it would be a long process with an unsure result. Chad elected to have his leg amputated. Tough choice for a young, active twenty-something who loves being outdoors and climbing mountains. We connected again while he was going through physical therapy at Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio. The last I knew, he was headed off to compete in skiing and mountain-climbing events with his new prosthetic leg. Pretty impressive, but not surprising since Chad had shared with me his desire to not let his new leg slow down his dreams of climbing mountains. I had no idea what he has been up to since.
Last year he climbed Labuche, a 20,075 foot Himalayan mountain, with 11 other wounded warriors. You can see more of his incredible story here. What I continue to be impressed with is that no matter the obstacles, when a man like Chad sets his mind to accomplish a formidable challenge, anything is possible. His desire is to inspire others to be more active. Well, I’m inspired!
More than anything, I am inspired by the single-mindedness of a purpose like Chad’s. What if we were as single-minded as Chad in pursuing others for the sake of Christ? I wonder what the Lord could accomplish through us, if we set our minds solely on pursuing God and His purposes.
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with Him…” (Philippians 3:8-9a NLT)