Panting harshly, we hurriedly left the river to scramble up the steep bank to gain the top of the ridge near the Mangaehuehu hut on Mt Ruapehu. The fog that rolled down the mountain’s slopes touched us with its damp fingers, just as we’d finished washing the last of the dishes in the clear mountain river. It had conquered the evening sun that lit the folds and ridges of the land, leaving us disoriented and lost. Dropping down to our hands and knees, we crawled down the ridge hoping to find the hut. No landmark was visible, nor could we discern the track. We were caught out.
When we reached the ridge we stood to our feet in the grey void, unnerved and too afraid to move. The feeling of fear was clammier than the air. Our packs and sleeping bags were in the hut. The majestic volcano that crowned the hills near the land I lived was my friend, a great playground for skiing and tramping, but it was complex and had rules. Confident of the mountain’s good mood, we’d gone out clad only in our shorts and T-shirts. Even though it was mid-summer, we knew the peril from exposure if we were forced to spend the night in the open. How were we going to get back to safety?
Just as we were debating what to do, a light appeared, beckoning us to safety. That light that someone, recognising our peril, had put in the hut window, was our salvation.
That is what Jesus, the Light of the World, is for me. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Isaiah 9:2
He promises that “whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12.
The King, the great ‘I AM’, is mightier than the light in the hut, mightier than the cyborg robot played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2, who reached out his hand saying “Come with me if you want to live.”