And he should know.
The man who said this was Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. And he said this when he found out that more than 40 climbers saw another climber—David Sharp—as he lay dying 1,000 feet short of the summit and they chose, not to help him, but to walk around him.
All that was important to him was another breath, but all that was important to 40 climbers was getting to the top of a mountain.
There is so much that they could have done for him.
They could have given him one of their extra oxygen tanks. They could have sent out a radio distress call. They could have tried to bring him down.
The only person who finally stopped to help was a man who knew what it was like to be avoided, neglected, and “detoured” around. Mark Inglis was the first double amputee to reach the summit. He knew how reaching the summit of Everest could change your life, but he also knew that life was so much more important than success, so he and his party stopped and began working to save David Sharp’s life, but it was too late and David died there on that mountain.
I want to be like Mark, because Mark—when he went out of his way to help David—was acting like Jesus.
Without Christ we were on the side of life’s path spiritually dying, but Jesus didn’t walk around us. He didn’t avoid us, or look the other way. No, understanding that human life is much more important than anything else, he stopped—while we were powerless—and began working to save our lives.
In Romans 5 Paul says it this way: