Don’t fear the mountain goat…

As I write, my man is on snowshoes in the middle of the wilderness.

It’s my personal opinion that if God wanted us to climb in the snow, He would have equipped us with lots of fur and very large feet.


Now it’s not that I’m a worrier. Let’s just say that I proactively take the time to envision any potential outcome and in a slightly obsessive way, process the dangers.

Ummm, that's really, really high honey.

Like the possibility that a mountain goat will barrel across the mountain and eat my husband.

Or the distinct danger of a snowshoe malfunction and the love of my life sinking 20 feet into a snowdrift.

Or the fear of important body parts freezing and falling off at the most inopportune moments.

And OK, yes, there are the occasional visions of avalanches, crevasses and cliffs, complicated by mountain lions, bears and rabid squirrels.

You get the idea.

Of course I didn’t mention any of these wayward thoughts to my man when he got up at 4:15 a.m. to go climb a 14,000 foot mountain on this snowy May morning. I just kissed him and wished him a wonderful hike and fervently began to pray.

I get it. He’s a guy. He needs a little risk. But I also confess that part of me wishes he’d taken up chess or golf. I mean, there’s certainly an element of risk in pro chess playing (chair collapsing, bumping hands against the calloused knuckles of your opponent), and golf has its dangers too. Stray balls, the wrenched back as a result of carrying that crazy heavy bag.

But mountain climbing?

Oh, my love.

So yesterday, I was talking to God. And He had a few words with me. I was reading in Exodus when I stumbled across this verse: “The appearance of the LORD’S glory to the Israelites was like a consuming fire on the mountaintop.”

My man loves his God. And he’s told me how he senses God’s presence on those mountains.  He prays for his children. He processes his pain and his joy and his future on those steep journeys.

So God reminded me that this is His time with Brian.

“You’re right, God.” I whisper, “But are you sure you couldn’t speak to him through a rousing game of competitive chess?”


“Yes, God. Sorry. He’s yours. And I’m grateful for his adventurous, manly heart. Just please, please God, keep him safe from the mountain goats, lions, squirrels, avalanches, cliffs, snowdrifts, freezing temperatures, wild turkeys and snow aliens…. OK?”


Right. Sorry.

So here’s my question. Does anyone else struggle with this risk thing? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.

7 Responses

  1. Elsa –

    If he’s doing what God created him to do, there is no risk. At least not from God’s perspective.

    The greater risk is when we force our will on God’s plan. Then we’re settling for less than the best.

    Had your husband not been the man who does the things he loves to do, my guess is that you would not have grown to love him the way you have.

    You sure you want a chess player?

    Just a few thoughts.

    1. Rod,

      Thank you for your comment! Don’t worry, my post was said more tongue-in-cheek to bring a smile and stir some conversation. I adore my rugged mountain man and would have him no other way. Although if he suddenly took up chess, I would love him still. 🙂

      Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts –



      1. Hey Elsa –

        My response was tongue-in-cheek, too.

        I knew what you meant.

        But there is also some intended truth – if he’s doing what God created him to do, he’s safe. Even if he dies doing it.

        And you’re blessed because he’s the kind of man who loves the things he does – including you. Though we’ve never met each other personally, from what I know of you through DC, I’m guessing it might be fair to say that being married to you could be kind of like climbing a mountain…..difficult, thrilling, harrowing and amazing…..all at different times.

        I’m a fan of your writing.

        And of your husband.

        He sounds like just the right kind of man who’s not afraid of a challenge – even if he’s married to her. 🙂


  2. Yes, I too, have very similar thoughts cross my mind as our sons are off on their 14’er hikes or Canyoneering trips…they too love the adventure and risk. I am having to surrender my son to NINE of these such trips in the next four months. I feel it is a bit much for a mom to endure but I am encouraged to keep looking up (no pun intended) and knowing they aren’t alone.

    And now instead of dreading those long days when my husband is gone golfing I will be thankful and smile at the thought of him chasing a tiny white ball around on green grass trying to get it into a little hole. LOL!!

    Thanks, also, for the giggles at the terrifying risks and dangers in chess tournaments.

  3. Elsa, just read this post and I was laughing/crying when I read your thoughts. I know my husband as a risk taker and everytime he gets close to some idea or activity that’s risky, my woman hesitation creeps in. I cannot hold him down, because it’s the very thing that makes him so powerful and strong, the way God made him.

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