To close out the year, I would like to tell you one of my favorite jokes:
A devout believer is trapped by a flood. He climbs onto his roof and waits to be saved.
As the water gets close to the roof, a neighbor comes along in a row boat. "Hop on," he says, "I'll get us both to safety."
"No, that's okay, you take care of yourself, God will save me," the believer replies.
The water keeps rising, almost to the top of the roof, where the believer is sitting. A Coast Guard power boat comes along. They yell out, "Come aboard, we'll get you to dry land."
The believer replies, "No, that's okay, go look for someone else, I have faith that God will save me."
The Coast Guard argues with him for a little while, but he steadfastly refuses, and they decide they do need to move on to save others.
The water keeps rising. The believer is holding on the the chimney, with just his head above the water. A National Guard helicopter comes along and spots him. They throw down a ladder and yell through a bullhorn, "Quick! Grab the ladder and we will save you!"
"No, this is a test of my faith, I know God will save me," he yells back.
As they try to argue with him, the chimney breaks off and he is swept away and drowns, and the believer goes to Heaven.
As he meets God, he says to Him, "I don't get it... Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to be here, but I thought for sure you would save me. Why didn't you?"
God booms out, "I SENT A ROW BOAT, A POWER BOAT, AND A HELICOPTER!! WHAT MORE DID YOU WANT??"
Faith is a very good thing, but we should take advantage of every blessing we are given on the Long Ascent.