I received one of those terrible phone calls today conveying the awful news that a dear friend of mine had been caught in an avalanche in France, buried for 15 minutes, dug out, airlifted to Grenoble and is on life support. No more news for now.
My good friend, Craig Schiffer, lives life at full speed at maximum volume with huge enthusiasm and energy. He has been a friend, mentor and business partner for 15 years. I pray he will be with us for many years to come and that one day we will share a bottle of Bordeaux together looking over Lake Annecy from his deck.
Craig and I have shared a similar path since 2006 when we both left the place we were employed and struck out on our own. From 2009-2012, we were in business together. It was not as successful as we would have liked but we learned a lot and it gave us what we needed to move on – separately but still connected.
We have both needed to reinvent our careers a couple of times in the past few years. He is someone from whom I learnt tenacity and persistence. I am sure he learned some things from me also.
I mentioned him recently as an example of someone who keeps moving forward, doggedly persisting in the pursuit of making worthwhile things happen in the business world. This person was lamenting his lot in life, having just lost a job and being unable to see a way forward because he was ‘too old’ and lacking in skills – the sky was falling and he found nothing to be grateful for.
Remember Craig Schiffer, I said. Older than you and still battling to improve, to make something happen, to provide for his family. He has suffered many setbacks and carried on. No excuses.
Craig has never been a huge fan of staying on piste. He has always taken guides to ski the more adventurous terrain. He is an accomplished rock climber and has introduced his kids to his sense of adventure. His competence and skill make you feel safe.
So, how and why this happened, I don’t know. These things are random. It is simply bad luck to cross paths with an avalanche. I am sure Craig took precautions.
That leaves us dealing with the consequences of randomness. It is hard because there is no-one to blame. We may curse, as the Psalmists did, at the great misfortune and injustice. Will God intervene at our behest and pull the broken pieces together again? I pray He will because I don’t believe the world or Craig Schiffer are finished with each other yet.
Pray with me that those taking care of Craig are able to summon all their skills and expertise to help him overcome the tragedy that has befallen him. Pray for the strength and support that his family will need to to be with him.