Our Mission Statement

Tuesday, November 30

Did you see that?

Located outside of Colorado Springs, behind the Air force Academy's campus, stands a mountain called Eagle Peak. At 13,205 feet, it is not the highest peak in Colorado. Far from it. 481 mountain peaks IN COLORADO are taller! However, rising up in the center of the Sangre de Cristo Range, reaching the summit offers a 360 degree view of some of the most breathtaking scenery you will see anywhere. Many a hiker takes on the challenge to reach its summit each year. The trail is moderate to challenging, and the summit can be reached on a day hike. sort of.

The inexperienced hiker is usually told that the hike will take all day to go the summit and back down. They are told the journey will be rigorous and difficult. They are told to start out early in the morning and set a strong steady pace and to take plenty of water and some food. However, most inexperienced hikers, who follow this advise, become confused and angry when they reach the trail head. He can see with his own eyes that the hike to the summit and back will take less than a half day with little difficulty for even the novice hiker.

So, the inexperienced hiker changes all of the plans he has made. He begins a meandering pace up the trail and frequently stops along the way to take photos and observe native wildlife. Drinking water at will and snacking along the way, the hiker continues up the trail towards his goal. By mid-day he arrives at the "summit." However, his eyes have deceived him, for this is NOT the summit to Eagle Peak, it is a false summit which blocked his view of the higher summit far above.

Realizing his mistake, he looks at his watch and recalculates his time. He decides that if he pushes himself hard enough he can still make it to the summit and get back down before dark. So he sets off at a frantic pace, stumbling and sliding on the loose gravel and rock. He strains to climb the steep inclines along the way. Brush and rock scrape against his body as he recklessly climbs the trail. Sweat stings his eyes and thirst cries out for water he no longer has with him. His Lungs are burning, his heart beating rapidly, the sun is beating down upon him, yet do not keep him from his goal. At last, in the mid-afternoon, he reaches the summit. Sort of.

He has reached ANOTHER false summit. From this vantage point he can now see the true summit of Eagle Peak, towering above him. The second false summit had also blocked his view of the real goal. Tired, out of breath, out of water, and out of time, the inexperienced hiker turns and starts his descent down the trail. He would not make it to the top of the peak today. At the trail head, he takes off his boots and empties the dirt they had collected. other hikers are there, talking about their hike to the top of Eagle Peak. Sadly, the inexperienced hiker did not enjoy the outcome, simply because he did not listen to the advise of the experienced hikers. He allowed himself to be deceived, not by what he was told, but by what he saw.

Alas, it will be another day before the inexperienced hiker will have a chance to hike to the summit of Eagle Peak. Wiser for his experience, he will reach his goal next time because this time he will not be an inexperienced hiker.

Wow, the lessons we can draw from this story! Instead of me writing the "moral of the story," I would like to hear from you! Write what you have drawn from this story and email it to me, I will share them with everyone next week! My email address is: reeves.tl@gmail.com Hope to hear from you soon!


Sunday, November 7

3,900 Saturdays

The book of James says that our life is like a vapor... we appear for a short time and then vanish away. This story will make you realize how true that statement is in the book of James.

"The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up to the phone portion band wave on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling to somebody about 'a thousand marbles..' I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.... ' Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's 'dance recital' he continued. 'Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.' And that's when he began to explain his theory of a 'thousand marbles.'

'You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

'Now then, I multiplied 75 (years) times 52 (weeks) and I came up with 3,900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail', he went on, 'and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.' 'I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1,000 marbles I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the garage next to my radio gear.'

'Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and discarded it. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.

There's nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight. And let me tell you, a 1,000 marbles might sound like a lot to you right now, but it is amazing how fast that container of marbles emptied out.'

'Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time... And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.' And extra time should be considered extra special. Not everyone gets it.

'It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on this band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!'

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few ham operators to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. 'C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast.' 'What brought this on?' she asked with a smile. 'Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."

And so, as one smart bear once said......'If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.' - Winnie the Pooh.

How many marbles do you have left? And, more importantly, what are you going to exchange for one?