Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: accidents

Safety systems that make life dangerous

Last month a semi hauling aviation fuel was travelling down the A-40 expressway in Montréal. The truck was equipped with a state of the art safety system that was designed to bring the truck to a safe stop if it detected any sign of a leak from a load of fuel. I’m not sure exactly how this was supposed to work, certainly what happened that day could not have been the way it was intended to function.

The truck was driving in heavy traffic down the freeway when the safety system malfunctioned and brought the truck to a sudden stop. The driver of the cube van directly behind him was able to stop, but the two semis following him did not see in time and all four trucks smashed together, the aviation fuel caught fire and all four trucks burned. The driver of the first truck died in the fire, despite desperate attempts by another driver to open his door and get him out.

The one who died was an experienced, careful driver with a clean record. Perhaps it would have been better to trust him than some wonder of modern technology.

Last week a young man appeared in court in Saskatoon for breach of probation. He was obviously high on drugs, could not walk or talk properly. His mother was there and pleaded for him to be taken into custody. It seems that our legal system is so hedged about with rulings and regulations to protect the rights of the accused that the mother’s pleas were of no avail.

The young man went home, took his girlfriend’s car and drove away. He sideswiped a parked car and kept going to the freeway. On the freeway, he drove erratically at a high speed, struck a piece of construction machinery working beside the freeway hard enough to take off a wheel, lost control, went through the median into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with another car. The driver of that car died, the young man escaped with hardly a scratch. Now he is in custody.

Do you think it might have been better if the police had a little more leeway to take someone into custody if there was reason to believe he was a danger to himself or others?

The Bible contains much instruction about how a person should live a Christian life. It is all good and true, that is how we should live. But if we reduce Christian life to just following the rules, sooner or later there is going to be a disaster. No set of rules can cover every possible contingency that we will encounter in life. This is why the Holy Spirit has been given to each believer to guide us safely through life. He is our safety.

Please slow down

It is winter inauto-70075_1280 Saskatchewan. Last night there was a heavy fog; the fog deposited its humidity on roads and streets where it formed a sheet of ice. After a rash of accidents in Saskatoon this morning, the police issued the following bulletin:

Speed limits are set based on ideal road conditions. THESE are not “ideal” road conditions. Please slow down.

My times are in thy hands

As teenagers we were invincible. We were young, healthy and strong, what could possibly go wrong?

It turned out that a whole lot of things could , and would, go wrong.  A year after we graduated from high school in 1959, Jim and his dad were installing a septic system for their home. All the digging was done by hand and Jim was at the bottom of a trench when one side collapsed. He was dead by the time they dug him out.

Bobby wanted to see the world, so he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He went through training, specializing in radio communications. He was assigned to an aircraft carrier; one day out of port an electrical short circuit caused a fire in the radio cabin and he perished.

Joan Vickers’ father was an Anglican minister and had been transferred to another town before we finished school. Joan was a slim, attractive young lady, just nine days younger than me, there was no hint of any health problem. Yet she was only 21 when she suffered a heart attack and died.

A few years later, Ken was driving down the highway in a snow storm. He must not have realized that the white out condition just in front of him was being caused by a semi-trailer. He plowed into the back of the semi and the lights went out for him.

Yet here I am, past the Biblical best before date of threescore and ten, and still going. I won’t say that I’m going strong, though; by now I am well aware that I am not invincible. If I have learned anything in those years, it is that I have no right to expect good things to happen to me. The good things that have happened are not a result of my inherent goodness or wise planning. It’s all a bonus; something to be thankful for.

Yesterday I was part of a group in charge of a chapel service in one of Saskatoon’s hospitals. These services are short; I shared some thoughts on David’s statement in Psalm 31:15: “My times are in thy hands.” Nobody ever wishes or plans to be a hospital patient. Much of our life consists of unplanned things that happen to us. There’s no point looking for someone to blame these things on, especially not God. Yet God knows every detail of our life and will be with us, no matter what we face, if we don’t push Him away.

After the service, one of the attendees told me a little of her life. One day, when she was 30 years old, she had been a happily married lady in the morning; before evening her husband died in a car accident and she was a widow, left to raise their 5 year old daughter by herself. She said it drew her closer to God. He is there when everything else we depended on fails us.

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