Let me tell you a story:
Years ago, a special task force (called “smoke jumpers”) parachuted down onto a summit in Mann Gulch, Montana. Their mission: to extinguish forest fires. This 15-person team was led by Robert Dodge.
On this sizzling and gusty day, they started hiking their way down the mountainside – and straight towards the fire. Just an ordinary fire, they thought.
As they descended, the worst thing that could happen - happened.
A blast of wind swept the area, creating a “Blow Up” – where the wind oxygenates the fire… causing explosive growth.
(To give you an idea: it covered 3,000 acres in just ten minutes.)
This ordinary fire burst into a gargantuan one with flames 200 feet high. Then like a rogue wave, it hurls up the hill… straight towards the team.
Robert tells his men to drop everything and RUN! Without hesitation, they sprint back up the mountainside. But because of the incline they can only run around 5mph, while the wave of fire is coming up at over 25 miles per hour…
Realizing they can’t outrun it, Robert tells his men to stop.
One of the men keeps running and says,
“To hell with that, I’m getting out of here!”
The rest of the team also continues sprinting up the hill. And sure enough, shortly after, the fire catches up to them and kills each and every one of them…
Except three. Two who escape through a canyon wall and… Robert Dodge…
Robert knew he couldn’t outrun the fire.
So he did the unexpected…
He struck a match and started the grass around him on fire - then laid in the middle of his own fire. When the fire reached him, the area was already burned so it jumped over him and continued up the mountain.
Despite the odds - he survived.
What can we learn from this?
Sometimes we have to do exactly what Robert did…
Sometimes we can’t run from our fears.
Sometimes we have to face our fears head on!
Sometimes we have to go into the unknown!
Sometimes we have to do the opposite of what the people around us are doing!
Because sometimes… that’s exactly what it takes.