Douglas Mawson's Expedition

The year was 1913, and Douglas Mawson was leading a scientific expedition across a remote part of the frozen Antarctic, but few things went right about his trip.

One day Mawson and two companions found themselves 316 miles from camp in a blinding blizzard. One of the men fell to his death in a crevice, taking with him most of the food, provisions for their dogs, and their only tent. Soon, the other companion died of hypothermia.

Traveling alone and suffering from stomach cramps, delusions, and severe fatigue, Mawson also stumbled into a crevice. He found himself hanging from a dog sled harness 14 feet over the edge of a black abyss. For the first time in his life he contemplated giving up. "How easy it would have been to simply let go and end all the pain and toil," he thought.

Instead, with all the strength he could muster he pulled himself out of the crevice and again began making his way back to camp. Mawson survived the ordeal and returned to Australia, where he was knighted and hailed as a hero. He died at the ripe age of 76, after a happy and prosperous life.

Is there anyone out there today who is about ready to give up, to cut the harness and plunge into the abyss? If so, I urge you to gut it out and take another run at life. History is replete with examples of men and women who persevered and succeeded when nothing but hope remained.

With Focus on the Family, this is Dr. James Dobson.

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