<a href=”; title=”Eskimos woman and girl ice fishing”>Eskimos woman and girl ice fishing</a> by Hadwen Seymour, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Somewhere in the distant past when I first entered the adventure called recovery someone told me what is often referred to as “the Eskimo story.” I do not know how the story originated, so I cannot site its source.  Anyway, it goes something like this:

” There was a man who was ice fishing when the patch of ice he was on broke off and he started to drift out to sea. The man could not swim, and he frantically prayed to God to rescue him.  An Eskimo came  by in a boat and offered to take the man to shore. The man refused the Eskimo’s offer saying, “No thanks, God will take care of me.” This happened two more times, and the man turned down the offers of help from the two additional Eskimos with the same answer that God was taking care of him. The person drowned. When the person got to heaven, he angrily asked God why He hadn’t answered his prayer and saved him. God patiently explained, ‘My son, I tried to save you three times and each time you refused my help.'”

We all have “Eskimos” that God sends into our lives —-only we are usually not aware of it.  Thomas Keating  (1981, Heart of the World, p. 41) has written:  “[God] will bring people and events into our lives, and whatever we may think about them, they are designed for the evolution of his life in us.”  To me, that means the Eskimos God sends to me will not always be rescuers—-they may play a central part in a negative situation I am experiencing which is meant to teach me an important spiritual lesson.

I have been writing on my church’s Facebook page this morning about angels being God’s messengers, so I think that is what got me on this “Eskimo tangent.”  However,  my experiences with AT&T on the phone later  this morning getting help to fix what they called a “system glitch” in my DSL Internet service is what pushed me over the “Eskimo edge.”

I was not a happy camper, as I had spent hours trying to communicate with different representatives of the same company last week when they installed a new and different DSL account. I was not looking forward to another long, unpleasant, and mostly unfruitful telephone experience. This time my “communication session” only lasted about an hour and a half. This time, it was a little easier to stomach the tinny Musak and to ask repeatedly for the person on the other end of the phone to slowly repeat something. And, this time, the fifth or sixth person I talked to was able to help me reconfigure my Internet/modem so my DSL worked once again.

When I said thank you and hung up, I had to stop and reflect what it was God wanted me to learn from this experience. I decided AT&T is an Eskimo in my life  helping me learn patience and the importance of being kind and polite even when I am frustrated. I have learned that more can get done that way. When I interrupt and yell at someone to stop reading to me and to start listening to me and what I am actually asking, it eventually gets their attention—– but it only serves to make the situation more frustrating.  Had I asked the same thing last week with an even and polite tone I have a feeling things might have gone a tad smoother than they did.

Please comment about what Eskimos you have experienced or are experiencing in your life right now and what spiritual lessons you are learning from them. By the way, you don’t have to be in recovery to have Eskimos—-we don’t have a franchise on them. 🙂 God bless and keep you.