July 13, 2001, will be a day 13-year-old Cody Clawson will never forget. The Utah Boy Scout and his buddies from Troop 241 headed out for a few days of hiking in Targhee National Forest, near the Yellowstone National Park boundary and about 40 miles north of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. But while the scouts were setting up camp, young Cody lost his sense of direction while carrying supplies from a vehicle to the campsite. In a matter of minutes he was completely lost in the thick forest. Around 2 p.m. on that day, Cody was discovered missing by his troop leaders and fellow scouts. Four hours later they finally contacted search-and-rescue personnel from Idaho and Teton County in Wyoming. Night fell, and the search was postponed until morning. A bitter cold blanketed the dark, secluded Yellowstone forest that night. Making matters worse, it rained that evening, washing away any tracks of evidence where Cody had been. Wearing only a T-shirt, shorts and sandals, the young Boy Scout took cover under a rock outcropping and waited for morning.
As dawn came that Tuesday, a Wyoming Air Patrol plane along with several private aircraft had been employed in the operation. Though family and friends feared the worst while hoping for the best, anxiously waiting for any news regarding the boy’s whereabouts. At about 8:30am, after over two hours of flying, a diligent and skilled helicopter pilot finally spotted Cody. Swooping down, he carefully maneuvered the aircraft, landing nearby. Tired, cold, hungry and soggy, 13-year-old Cody Clawson climbed to safety inside, surprised to learn he had wandered 10 miles away from the Scout Camp. He had been separated from his Troop for over 14 long hours. But that wasn’t Cody’s biggest surprise that summer morning. Imagine his astonishment upon discovering the man flying that helicopter was Harrison Ford!
A part-time Jackson resident and proficient pilot, Ford regularly volunteers his helicopter flying skills for rescue missions. He had spent two hours that morning scanning the landscape for any sign of the lost boy. Happy to finally be rescued, Cody’s gratitude turned to amazement upon recognizing the Hollywood superstar at the controls.
Okay, if you’re gonna get lost in the wilderness, who better to rescue you from danger than Indiana Jones?! Flying back, Ford glanced over at Cody through his aviator sunglasses. “Boy, you sure must have earned a merit badge for this one,” no doubt flashing his trademark half-smile.
“I already earned that badge last summer,” Clawson replied.
“Did you get an autograph?” his fellow Scouts later asked.
“No,” replied the grateful 13-year-old. “I got something better than an autograph out of the deal. I got a hug and a handshake.”
Maybe he should get a compass on his next birthday.
You’ve probably never been lost in the Wyoming wilderness, OR been rescued by Indiana Jones. But we all possess a proclivity to lose a spiritual sense of direction. An inherent inclination
Doing this regularly helps you know where you are (and more importantly) where you’re going.to“wander off the path”, if you will, straying off course – personally and spiritually. In a culture given to radical extremes, we trivialize the essential things in life (family, faith, spirituality) while making icons out of the relatively insignificant ones (career, image, obsession with self). In the process, we lose not only our direction, but also our perspective as well. We develop spiritual “vertigo”, forgetting which end is up. Our vision gets fuzzy, and we eventually overemphasize all the wrong issues. We even take good thingsand elevate them to a place of unhealthy importance. Because of this, every now and it’s a good idea to pause and do a “self-diagnostic”, checking ourselves to see if our life vision is still 20/20 and directed at our True North.