December is hunting season. The story I am about to tell you is true. Jesse, a construction worker, stopped by to give me a work report one late afternoon and as we were talking about this and that, the subject of mountain lions came up and he told me what follows.
Jesse hikes in the Chiricahua mountains frequently. He says it relieves his mind from the hassles of his construction jobs. One hike started in the early hours of a Saturday morning. By mid-morning, Jesse found himself near the top looking up at the towering peaks. He had a strong desire to climb to the top. Eventually, he made it by 2 pm. He was looking out at the forest world in front of him from that height. He knew he should be heading down but he could see no easy way to descend the peak. He jumped from one ledge to the next until he was almost at the bottom when on the last jump he fell twisting his ankle so badly that he could not put any weight on it.
Hopping around he found a staff and started his descent. This winter the snow was deep. As light fails early, Jesse was apprehensive. Though he had acute vision, and could see at night pretty well, he nevertheless realized that he would not be able to make the whole trip down in the dark. As the light was dimming he came to a stream. At this point, he was on his hands and knees crawling along the bank feeling his way as he could not make out very well the best way down. There were ledges that he could not see in advance.
Then he heard it. The soft sound of paws patting the snow behind him, closer and closer and closer, until he heard the breath of an animal. He knew a lion was following him. Still on his hands and knees, he stopped, then listened. The animal was still following very closely and Jesse felt this was his last hour. He gave up his heart, soul and mind to the Creator. Putting his fate in Him, Jesse said out loud 'I accept Your will'.
At that point, the lion circled around him and started downhill very slowly as Jesse followed on his hands and knees. Whenever the lion got too far in front he stopped and waited for Jesse to catch up. The lion was showing him the way down the mountain.
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