Update. Commentary on the terrorist attack in Nice. It´s on all the news outlets.
This morning at 4:20 AM Brazil time.
The original article´s link: http://lightnseed.blogspot.com.br/2014/03/written-and-posted-by-jean-louis.html
Link to my own testimony of a train ride last summer to NIce French Riviera. http://thelightseed.blogspot.com.br/2016/07/is-he-terrorist-or-not.html
Early this morning at 4:30 AM Brazil time. I was watching the latest news on the French, British and Spanish TV when I landed in the middle of an interview with a French economist who was commenting on the way governments recommend and encourage growing the economy through unlimited consumption of goods and services.
He mentioned that new products are being invented all the time faster than ever and made a relevant observation pointing at the way governments advise their population should behave after a terrorist attack. (I am just surmising here since I came in the middle of the interview that was part of a wider analysis on the runaway consumerism and its deleterious effects on the well being of mankind).
My point here is not to take sides and make a political statement. I am simply observing the facts on the ground from a biblical perspective.
It is at this point that the economist said something very accurate, true and insightful when reflecting on the “destiny” of mankind, he compared the driven excessive, unnecessary insatiable, compulsion of buying new things, gadgets, entertainment, etc to “ a runaway unstoppable “bolide”(his word) such as bullet train crashing into a wall or plunging headlong into a precipice. (Accurate translation from memory of what I could retain.)
These words instantly took me back to an article and subsequent updates I wrote a few years ago. In light of the last few train crashes, the most recent taking place in Italy just a few days ago, this time it was a head on collision of two high speed trains on one single railroad track in dire need of upgrading since the 1960s. Again, it was caused by human error.
Here we have a valuable lesson to learn and turn to the One who has and is the solution to our deep needs to find answers to the problems that plague mankind, namely the Lord Jesus Christ.
I think it is more relevant than ever to pause and reflect on the problems and the causes of these avoidable tragedies especially in the light of the latest terrorist attack in Nice on the French Riviera and the response of a perplexed government and population. The political leaders reaction subsequent security measures in Europe are very similar to the ones taken on the aftermath of 911:
Maximum alert, state of emergency equivalent to martial law extension for 3 more months. And of course the slogans that “we will overcome this crisis and come out stronger because we are united and working together toward universal peace, love and brother hood and freedom for all. Aren´t these the 3 most important values,legacy of the French revolution? (How ironic that it happened on the 14 th of July, celebration anniversary of Bastille day!) And to prove that we will not be intimidated by a few deranged criminals we will go on living our live as before, spending money we don´t have on things we don´t need, we will go out to places of entertainment and show how strong we are in the face of constant imminent danger of widespread chaos and utter destruction.
Observe that the last incident in Italy involves 2 runaway trains filled with people from different ethnic origins crashing into each other which is pretty illustrative of the present condition of the migration situation in Europe.
See Here my own testimony of a train ride to Southern France last year. In fact, the high speed train was traveling to Nice where I stayed right near the seafront boulevard where the massacre happened. I was able to capture the atmosphere felt in the car during the trip and the inability to react in a situation among the passengers as if they were paralyzed by fear of retribution from the masters of political correctness that prevents people from taking the preventive measures necessary in such situations. .
I let you draw your own conclusions.
Here is the 2014 update and reflection on a train accident in its entirety:
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Reflection on a train accident
I posted this for the first time in a truncated version in 1998, then 2 years after President Obama was elected.
2010 - Especially in the last few months since the election of the last US president Mr.Obama, the general state of the world and the great disasters relentlessly battering the earth with an increasing regularity and intensity, a lot of people have the feeling that something momentous is about to happen. Are we prepared for it?
About 12 years ago, a train crash in Germany got my attention. And reading again of at least two train crashes that happened within a few weeks, I thought it might be a good time to post my thoughts about the inescapability of the course of events in our world today. UPDATE: I just finished reading of a new accident that just happened 35 minutes ago in Norway.
The newspaper report of a runaway train in Germany this past week(6/12/98) should cause us to take stock (re-evaluate) of our lives. The report recounts the crash of a run away train passenger cars that got off the track and crashed at full speed in the cement retaining wall under the bridge of a freeway sending a great number of unaware passengers to their ultimate destination.
Second world's deadliest high speed train accident Source
The Eschede train disaster was the world's deadliest high-speed train accident. It occurred on June 3, 1998 near the village of Eschede in the Celle district of Lower Saxony, Germany. The toll of 101 people dead and 88 (estimated) injured surpassed the 1971 Dahlerau train disaster as the deadliest accident in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. It was caused by a single fatigue crack in one wheel which, when it finally failed, caused the train to derail at a switch. The intense destruction of the train was due to a collision with a road bridge after the derailment.
Looking at the article, several questions on a spiritual parallel level came to mind.
Are we on track with God? Are we walking in the Spirit, in step with the Shepherd leading us, sensitive and receptive to His voice, obedient to His commands, following Him our Head as the passenger cars should follow the locomotive and be running on the same track at the same speed?
Do we let the momentum of our lives cause us to disengage from the path God has chosen for us and is leading us onto? Do we allow the busyness and frenzy of our modern life to drive us into a concrete wall that has the unmovable determination to stay in our way as we come to a crashing halt at an unstoppable speed?
If we read the newspaper account, we will notice that the cause of the crash was not found in the locomotive, neither on the tracks, not even in the cars, neither in the wheels themselves, but in the protective rim of one of the tires. It is also very interesting to note that the defect was found in the very first car behind the locomotive. It should cause us to reflect on the question: Who is at the wheel driving?
The probable cause was either metal fatigue, stress or damage to the protective rim.
The analogy not only applies to individuals, but also to families or entire congregations as the pressures and demands on our lives have a tendency to make us feel out of control and affect all our relationships.
While in college, Christian students were reading the book by Malcon Boyd Are You Running with Me, Jesus? (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1965). It became a success. You can read about the way he ran his life in Wikipedia .I am glad I am following Jesus!
It begs the question: Do you think Jesus was following him and running alonside?
In 1961, Stop the world - I want to get off became a success on the New-York theater scene. It related the story of a man´s quest for happiness in the wrong places. Interesting and challenging our preconceptions of what constitutes a life well lived and the pursuit of illusion. Look it up on Google. I saw that play on the same campus.
I was born during WWII , survived the revolutionary/civil/independence war in Algéria, made it barely through the 60s and the following decades in the USA. Finally enjoying retirement, still working with enough time to read, study, observe and reflect while watching with dismay and sadness the world, its events passing in front of my eyes as a observer standing in a field, witnessing a speeding bullet train disappearing in the twilight of its life cycles.
My only consolation is knowing that I and other believers in Jesus are not on that runaway train but firmly planted, rooted, established, growing in our faith by the grace in which we stand.
So, what are we to do?
- We could start by slowing down, pausing and examing our lives to make sure
- that we are on the right track,
- that the spiritual equipment the Lord has provided for us is being maintained and properly used,
- that we are not being driven by our own ambitions, desires, habits or the wrong choices we foolishly make, or
- running the race led by the wrong person.
- Then, following Him, taking our marching orders from our Shepherd King, our Head, Christ whose footsteps determine
- the length and the speed of our stride and
- the times to move on or to stop and rest,
- working with Him in the pasture that He has chosen for us His sheep. A good and appropriate admonition is found in II Peter 3-10.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~PS: Maybe this article from the Washington Post may gives us clues to understand this modern phenomenon. Would it have anything to do with stretching the concept of the "pursuit of happiness" to its exhaustive conclusion?
Why being too busy makes us feel so good
Brigid Schulte is a Washington Post staff writer. This article is adapted from her book “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time.
One man says he works 72 hours a week because everyone else at his office does; he’s thinking about cutting back on sleep so he can be more productive. A woman says the last time she had a moment for herself was when she went for her annual mammogram. Another says she has decided that life is too hectic to have kids — ever.