I recently finished listening to The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition, by Caroline Alexander. Ever since I first heard the story of Shackleton’s perseverance through a year and half adrift on ice, the sea and an isolated, frozen island I have been captivated by it. It is a moving story of leadership and perseverance. Much could be said about it, but here I simply want to point out one quote that caught my attention. One of the men on the journey commented in his journal, stating:
“Never is etiquette so carefully observed as by experienced travelers when they find themselves in a tight spot.”He was commenting on how easy it is to begin to annoy one another when you are all suffering through amazingly difficult conditions, trying to survive and knowing you need one another to survive. This made me think of how we as Christians need one another and how we also find ourselves in “tight spots.” Perhaps if we were more keenly aware of our difficulties and need of one another, we might be more gracious to one another. The illusion of comfort and being in control fools us into thinking we have the luxury of dismissing one another. But we deeply need one another.