issue no. 1
The Law of Mount Everest
Only someone who has tried to climb a formidable mountain knows what it takes to make it to the top. For 32 years, between 1920 and 1952, seven major expeditions tried—and failed—to make it to the top of Mount Everest. Tenzing Norgay, a *Sherpa born in the high altitudes of Nepal, was on six of those expeditions, as well as many other high climbs to other mountains. He became respected, and he learned a lot. The greatest lesson was that no one should underestimate the difficulty of the climb. He had seen people do it at the ultimate cost tothemselves.
In 1953, Norgay embarked on his fifth expedition to Everest with a British group led by Colonel John Hunt. By then, he was respected not only as a porter who could carry heavy loads at high altitudes, but also as a mountaineer and a full-fledged expedition member, an honor unusual at that time for a Sherpa.
Tenzing was also engaged to be the British group’s Sirdar for the trip, the Sherpa leader who would hire, organize, and lead the porters for the journey. This was no small task. To hope to get just two people from base camp up to the summit, the team brought ten high-altitude climbers, including a New Zealander named Edmund Hillary. Altogether, the men would require two and a half tons of equipment and food. Those supplies couldn’t be trucked or airlifted to the base of the mountain. They had to be delivered to Katmandu and carried on the backs of men and women 180 miles up and down Himalayan ridges and over rivers crossed by narrow rope-and-plank bridges to the base camp. Tenzing would have to hire between two and three hundred people just to get the supplies in the vicinity of the mountain.
Supplies needed by the party above the base camp would have to be carried up the mountain by another 40 porters, each a Sherpa with extensive mountain experience. The best third of that team would continue working higher up the mountain, carrying up the 750 pounds of necessary equipment in 30-pound loads. Only Tenzing and three other porters would have the strength and skill to go to the high camps near the summit.
For each level that the climbers reached, a higher degree of teamwork was required. One set of men would exhaust themselves just to get equipment up the mountain for the next group. Two-man teams would work their way up the mountain, finding a path, cutting steps, securing ropes. And then they would be finished, having spent themselves to make the next leg of the climb possible for another team. Of the teamwork involved, Tenzing remarked,
“You do not climb a mountain like Everest by trying to race ahead on your own, or by competing with your comrades. You do it slowly and carefully, by unselfish teamwork. Certainly I wanted to reach the top myself; it was the thing I had dreamed of all my life. But if the lot fell to someone else I would take it like a man, and not a crybaby. For that is the mountain way.”
The team of climbers, using the “mountain way,” ultimately made it possible for two pairs to make an attempt at reaching the summit. The first consisted of Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans. When they tried and failed, the other team got its chance. That team consisted of Tenzing and Edmund Hillary. Tenzing wrote of the first team:
“They were worn out with exhaustion, and, of course, terribly disappointed that they had not reached the summit themselves. But still … they did everything they could to advise and help us. And I thought, Yes, that is how it is on a mountain. That is how a mountain makes men great. For where would Hillary and I have been without the others? Without the climbers who had made the route and the Sherpas who had carried the loads? Without [those many] who had cleared the way ahead and who were there only to help us? It was only because of the work and sacrifice of all of them that we were now to have our chance at the top.”
They made the most of their chance. On May 29, 1953, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary accomplished what no other human being ever had: They stood on the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak!
Could Tenzing and Hillary have made it alone? The answer is no. Could they have made it without a great team? Again, the answer is no. Why? Because as the challenge escalates, the need for teamwork elevates. That’s the Law of Mount Everest.
Mama: “Teamwork” is defined in the dictionary as “a cooperative effort by a group or team.” So winning Home members know that anybody they live and work with closely is their team, and they’ve got to make it a strong team.
A successful Home requires team effort. Everyone is working together in order for success to be achieved. All are responsible to work together effectively-not just to survive, but to thrive as a team.
Jesus: Every disciple is responsible to make his or her Home as effective as it can be. Everyone is responsible for the Home, because you’re all joint owners. Your Homes are your investment, and you hold a portion of the stock in your hands. If there are problems, they’re your problems. If the business isn’t going so well, it’s your concern. If there are new initiatives that need to be implemented to guarantee future success, then you’ve got to get behind them. In the “company” of your Home, there should be no “big cheeses” who make all of the decisions and feel the full burden of responsibility. Everyone is responsible.
Your Home is a result of the sum total of everyone’s choices. It’s up to you—every individual in the Home—to make it work, to go the distance, to decide that you’ll settle for nothing less than the best—together!
More on “The Law of Mount Everest”—The Price
I offer the following observations about the cost of being part of a winning team. To become team players, you and your teammates will have at least the following required of you:
Sacrifice. There can be no success without sacrifice. James Allen, the English writer, philosopher and poet once observed, “He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much.” When you become part of a team, you may be aware of some of the things you will have to give up. But you can be sure that no matter how much you expect to give for the team, at some point you will be required to give more. That’s the nature of teamwork. The team gets to the top only through the sweat, blood, and sacrifice of its team members.
Mama: We’ll all have to forsake some things in order to win this particular battle‚ in order for our Homes to be what the Lord needs them to be. Because we’re at war against the Enemy, we’ve got to do whatever it takes to win.
Time commitment. Teamwork does not come cheaply. It costs you time—that means you pay for it with your life. It takes time to get to know people, to build relationships with them, to learn how you and they work together. Teamwork can’t be developed in microwave time. Teams grow strong in a Crock-Pot environment.
Mama: Becoming a strong team, learning to appreciate and work with one another’s strengths and weaknesses‚ building sweet fellowship and love together‚ all of this takes time. Building a winning team takes time.
Personal development. Your team will reach its potential only if you reach your potential. That means today’s ability is not enough. Or to put it the way leadership expert Max DePree did: “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” That desire to keep striving, to keep getting better, is a key to your ability, but it is also crucial for the betterment of the team.
Jesus: If you are progressing spiritually and reaching that goal spiritually, then I guarantee you that you will also reach the other goals of physical progress as well. If you’re aiming to put Me first and love Me first, then I promise to help you to also accomplish and progress on the physical scale as well.
Unselfishness. People naturally look out for themselves. The question, “What’s in it for me?” is never far from their thoughts. But if a team is to reach its potential, its players must put the team’s agenda ahead of their own. If you give your best to the team, it will return more to you than you give, and together you will achieve more than you can on your own. The rewards of teamwork can be great, but there is always a cost. You always have to give up to go up.
Dad: The Lord handpicked you. …You within the Family today are not “second best” or “backups” or “try-outs.” You’re the cream of the crop, His first choice.
He knows fighting to be a winning team Home is going to cost you. He knows that battles are never easy to fight, and He knows that you’re each going to have to forsake something—or perhaps many somethings—in your life, that will bring you back to being a completely dedicated soldier in His army, a top-notch winner in your Home.
Q: What are “Sherpa?”
A: The Sherpa (Tibetan: “eastern people,” from shar “east” + pa “people”) are an ethnic group from the most mountainous region of Nepal, high in the Himalayas. The term sherpa is also used to refer to local people, typically men, who are employed as guides for mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayas, particularly Mt. Everest. They are highly regarded as elite mountaineers and experts in their local terrain, as well as having good physical endurance and resilience to high altitude conditions. Sherpa generally act as porters on Everest expeditions. (Wikipedia)