Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thoughts about NZ 7 lost in river flooding

Here is a link to the thoughts of the father of one of the school children, lost in a climbing adventure when a sudden downpour flooded the canyon.

This is a terrible, gut wrenching loss. A teacher and six teenage students have literally been swept away from life, and their families. Knowing that their loved ones are in heaven, as they were Christians who abounded with love for the Lord, will be of comfort to their families, as they bear the unbearable. I know all too well the pain they are enduring, and pray that they will tap into the sources of comfort and solace in celebrating their lives, as much as they can.

Now, I must say something, I would be remiss if I did not. People who know me well and who read what I say directly, and also what I say between the lines, know that I am not a fan of extreme sports. I am not referring to those who compete in extreme games or who do this for a profession. I am referring to the routine taking of risks for "thrills" or for "character building" by young people and also by people who are parents and have responsibility for minor children. From bungee jumping to off trail snow sports the past thirty years has seen adrenaline and risk offered to those who ought not to be taking risks, as their first responsibility should be to their families who depend on them. It's bad enough when people die in auto accidents, or in public service, such as the firefighters in Colorado. But I do not understand nor do I approve of the near worship of "thrills" and "character building" that involves extremely risky activities and decision making. Young people, and adults, are taking physical risks that our GI's in World War II would have found normal in wartime, not in peacetime. There is a "conquering of nature" mentality that has even infested Christian settings, such as the children at this school. How about team building by going and building a house for someone poor, instead of "challenging" nature and the elements? I'm no old fogey; I have gone canoeing in alligator infested waters, and have done much wilderness trekking. But I did not do such extreme things as are now marketed as being desirable today, and not at such young ages and inexperience either. I am so sick at heart of those who have lost someone and have to say through brave lips, "Well, they died doing what they loved." My opinion is that they should have lived doing what they loved. I'm sorry, but that is the truth.