Summary: A young man who was dropped into the Alaskan wilderness with supplies, film, firearms & ammunition to photograph the wilderness forgot one important detail of his trip ....

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Wed pm


“Planning your departure”

Intro: *** A young man set out on the adventure of a lifetime & tragically became stranded & died in the harsh conditions of the Alaskan wilderness.

His adventure began in the spring of 1981, when he was flown into the desolate north country to photograph the natural beauty and mysteries of the tundra. He had photo equipment, 500 rolls of film, several firearms, and 1400 pounds of provisions. As the months passed, the entries in his diary, which at first detailed his wonder and fascination with the wildlife around him, turned into a pathetic record of a nightmare. In August he wrote, “I think I should have used more foresight about arranging my departure. I’ll soon find out.” He waited and waited, but no one came to his rescue. In November he died in a nameless valley, by a nameless lake, 225 miles northeast of Fairbanks. An investigation revealed that he had carefully mapped out his venture, but had made no provision to be flown out of the area.

The thought that we could end up in the same predicament as this young man probably seems remote to you right now.

After all he made a high risk journey into an unknown wilderness & left himself at the mercy of the elements.

But the truth we need to ponder is that although we may not be in a remote Alaskan wilderness we are nonetheless in the remote wilderness of another life.

Here is the big question to ponder – have you made plans for your departure?

Some of you are saying ….. departure? I’m just beginning life, I’m not even thinking about departing!!!

** Someone has rightly said “You can’t repent too soon, for you know not how soon it may be too late.”

Do you spend any time thinking about your exit from life?

Being forgiven & living every day in right r/s w/ Jesus is the only way you can be ready for your departure.

I want to minister a message I’ve called “Planning your departure”.

Text: Deuteronomy 32:29 (NKJV) 29 Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, That they would consider their latter end!

# 1. Life is a high risk venture.

A. All you have to do to know this is true is look at the wreckage.

*** One day we were going up a mountain in Albuquerque NM on a chair lift. Half way up the 11,000ft Mountain we saw a few hundred feet below the leftovers of a plane. My pastor friend explained to me that the

wreckage I was looking at was the remains of a plane that had crashed into the side of the mountain simply killing everyone on board. For many years since the accident the wreckage had remained there scattered over the mountain side.

I remember that it was quite sobering seeing the twisted wreckage that hadn’t been retrieved, as I u/s, b/c of the difficulty of accessing it & bringing it all down.

It was a sobering sight b/c the wreckage represented lost lives!

a. Unfortunately all of life is full of wreckage!

i. Most of us see the wreckage of humanity every day ….. wrecked family members / relatives / workers / people we see all the time –wrecked b/c of a bad decision!

ii. The wreckage of the world is splashed across the media every day.

iii. We can’t even drive down the road these days w/o being reminded of this truth ….. crosses / memorials on the side of the roads of drunken / speeding / crazy drivers & their victims.

*** I remember the first night I got my driver’s licence. I remember going out to visit my uncle who was a football player for Perth, own his own panel beating business & just generally had some good sense. He said something to me as he was looking at my car that night …..

Nice car son! Just don’t forget how easy it is to do one stupid thing & find y/s lying on the road w/ your head a few feet away from your body!

What he was saying to me was simple – don’t b/co a statistic through crazy driving – don’t be a part of the wreckage!

b. We sometimes forget how easily we can come to the place of ruin.

i. The Bible is filled w/ the stories / accounts of human ruin.

i. There are two things all these wrecks had in common …… firstly the fact that they began the journey of life as men / women who knew / served & loved God!

ii. Even in the Bible we see the wreckage! Solomon / Absalom / Sampson / Judas & many others.

iii. The second thing they had in common was that they all lost sight of the fact that the destination of life’s journey – Is God!

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