Don’t be a caveman. On the evening of December 18, 2004, in the southwest of France, Jean-Luc Josuat-Vergès wandered underground caves of an abandoned mushroom farm and got lost. Josuat-Vergès arrived at the abandoned mushroom farm when he got depressed and left for a drive leaving his wife and 14-year-old son at home. He also took a bottle of whiskey and a handful of sleeping pills with him on his way out. When he arrived at the farm, he decided to walk in with only a flashlight in hand.
Not surprisingly, he was soon lost as these mushroom farms are long and winding tunnels dug out of the limestone hills. These labyrinth-like tunnels spanned over five-mile-long and had many blind corridors, twisting passages, and dead ends. Not long after walking in, the battery in his flashlight started to die, and then went out. To make matters worse, he found himself bogged down in the mud, which swallowed his shoes. Now barefoot and in the dark, he relegated himself to the fact he was lost and without a way out.
Thirty-four days, on the afternoon of January 21, 2005, three local teenage boys decided to explore the abandoned mushroom farm for themselves. They discovered Josuat-Vergès’ SUV with the door still open. Sensing something was wrong, they immediately called the local police. The police recognized the vehicle and then sent a search team to the location. After searching for about an hour and a half, they found Josuat-Vergès just 600 feet from the entrance.
When they found him, Jean-Luc was ghostly pale, had a long scraggly beard, and lost almost 40 lbs. When asked how he survived that long, he told them he ate clay and rotten wood, drank water that dripped from the limestone ceiling, and sometimes even sucked water from the walls. He also recounted how at times, he got so desperate he devised a plan “in case things got unbearable.”
Josuat-Vergès’s story reminds me of how we as men also tend to retreat to an isolated place or “cave”. We sometimes run away and “deal” with our problems by running into a cave where no one can reach us. Unfortunately, this often leads us down dark paths where we find it difficult to find a way out. However, this is not how God made us. He made us relational beings to have relationships. First with Him, then with others. Therefore, don’t be a caveman.
Answer and Journal the Following
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Pray to develop new friendships or strengthen old ones with fellow brothers. Ask for God to bring these men into your life.
Meditate / Memorize:
Determine how you will be receptive and open toward developing those relationships. What’s your plan of action?
Share what you’ve learned with someone else.