Carving a Path from Tragedy to Triumph
By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
Have you heard of Dashrath Manijhi? This man turned tragedy into triumph. It took him 22 years to do it but in the end one man’s tragic story solved a problem for an entire village.
Let’s back up and tell the story. Dashrath lived in the Gehlour hills in India. These hills are a low but rather treacherous ridge of hills that divided settlements and blocked easy access to essential services from villages.
Dashrash lived in one of these settlements and like many others had to travel over steep, narrow and dangerous paths in order to obtain food and even water at times.
His wife was walking on one of those paths carrying water and she slipped and fell down the mountain. The closest medical facilities were 70 kilometers away via these paths and she died before she could reach help.
This tragedy marked a turning point in Dashrath’s mind and he became a very determined man ready to do something about the situation.
Thus began his 22-year long quest.
A quest to cut through the mountain. He took his simple tools and started to chisel through the mountain. This simple man who was a landless farmer took what he had and started to cut a path through the mountain.
The villagers called him crazy. The government thought he was crazy.
From 1960 to 1982 he cut away at the mountain. Over time, however, others saw his determination and saw his vision for this new path and started to furnish him tools to help in the process.
Today there is a path that is 360 feet long and 25 feet deep that is cut through the mountain.
That path is now used even by small cars along with the many who traverse it by foot. That path shortened a 70-kilometer trip into a one-kilometer trip. T
hat path enables the entire village access to medical care, supplies and other needed items. That path is named after the man that turned a tragic situation into a life goal and ultimate triumph for him and his village. When he died in 2007, he was given a state funeral by the local government and a movie has been made of his life.
How do you turn tragic situations into triumphs?
We have all faced terrible things. We live in a world that ensures that every single one of us will face tragic, heartbreaking times in this sinful world. Those emotions are real and need to be acknowledged and worked through. However, there is also a time when we can see what triumph can also rise from the ashes.
Jesus on the cross faced the absolute worst death that a person could face. He faced it alone. He faced it weighted down with the entire sin of the world past, present and future. He faced the worst physical pain you can imagine. He faced it unable to see past the tragedy of the tomb. He faced it for you.
You are His triumph. You are His life work. You are the one that He faced His trial for. You are why He cut through the mountain of sin and sorrow in order to make heaven attainable for you.
We also have the opportunity to point others to this triumph. In fact, we can always point people to I John 5:11,12
And this is the testimony, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life...
Let us enjoy the triumph that God has give us and let us point others to that triumph.