Life Is A Dangerous Gauntlet! (Buckle Up!)


I have never had a more nerve-racking experience than the trip I took driving from San Antonio, Texas, to the small Texan town of Kerrville. It was near dusk when I got on highway I-10 going north. That strip of highway is about 50 miles long. It is a highway that is barren of vegetation so your vision is unimpaired, giving you a magnificent vista of the landscape. About 30 miles from Kerrville sits the small town of Boerne. It is there that my journey turned terrifying as I began to see herds of deer standing beside the open road. There were literally hundreds of them standing in close proximity. They stood on both sides of the highway seemingly oblivious to the cars that were speeding by. As an insurance agent I had heard many stories of deer running out into the path of cars causing property damage and on occasion injury or death to the passengers. My rented mini-van was full of family so not only was I fearful for my own life, but also for the safely of my wife and kids. As I drove along I was reminded of a famous line from a long forgotten TV program called “Lost in Space.” The outer space adventure starred a little boy named Will Robinson who had a trusted robot friend. Whenever Will looked to be in peril the robot would say, “Danger Will Robinson, danger!” Well, those words echoed in my mind as I drove along, “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!”

My wife, playing the robot role, kept reminding me of the peril and that I should slow down. But the tension and pressure of driving under such circumstances only made me want to drive faster. As the light of the day dimmed with the setting sun, my vision deceased and so did the images of the deer. Now my lights began to pick up flashes of them as we sped onward. I’ve never gripped a wheel tighter and been so on edge as I was during that stretch of highway. Besieged by unpredictable animals on all sides, my face was soaked with perspiration by the time we reached Kerrville. And although none of the deer actually came out onto the highway, and we reached our destination safely without incident, I never forgot the experience.

The word “Gauntlet” has several meanings. But, according to Wikepedia, “Running the gauntlet is a form of physical punishment wherein a man is compelled to run between two rows-a gauntlet-of soldiers who strike him as he passes” Thus it’s origin came from the military and was often used on condemned men. “In some traditions, if the condemned was able to finish the run and exit the gauntlet at the far end, his faults would be deemed paid, and he would rejoin his comrades with a clean slate” (Wikepedia).

Well, I had “run the gauntlet” that day in Texas, and survived! I don’t know how the locals do it, but I respect their ability and courage to do so. Though if I had to guess, I would say that on occasion  a few deer have surely run out in front of them causing perilous collisions!

There is no question in my mind that we are daily “running the gauntlet” here on earth. We are surrounded on all sides with temptation and the evil influences of this world. We live here on earth and a “highway” has been provided by the Lord whereby we can reach our destination in safety. We have been condemned to some degree because we have been cut off from the presence of the Lord. But if we stay on the paved road and follow the markers and road signs given to us by prophets, and through personal revelation, we will succeed. Then we will be like the condemned soldiers of old. We will be able to finish the run and exit the gauntlet with our faults deemed paid, by the blood of Christ. And we will rejoice with our comrades, being cleaned of our sins and having a clean slate before the Lord.

We are all “running the gauntlet” of life. It is dangerous, but Heavenly Father has provided each of us with our own “robot” that tells us when danger is upon us. It is the Holy Spirit. We would be wise to heed its prompting! The spirit may not be able to protect us against all the consequences of “deer” that leap in front of our path, but it will happen less often and the consequences will be on a far minor scale than if we get off the path and go on our own. Life can be a long ride, and “running the gauntlet” takes courage, determination, dedication, obedience and inspiration. But I learned from a long stretch of Texan highway, that it can be done successfully! Buckle up!


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