Sunday, September 17, 2006

Survival of the fittest?

Andes Mountains
Originally uploaded by So Cal Metro.
I was so disturbed by an article I read in Reader's Digest (September Issue) yesterday. It's about the 1972 plane crash in the Andes Mountains where 32 people survived, including Uruguay's top rugby team.

For the first time, one survivor came out in the open to give a testimony on their harrowing 72 days at the unfriendly terrains of the Andes. It was a shocking revelation of how they survived, but that's going ahead of the story.

The article, written as told by Nando Parrado, talked about courage, teamwork and determination to survive against all odds, no matter what it takes. (Read here)

Indeed, it is truly amazing how one can survive at 12,000 feet on a snow-packed glacier with no help in sight for over two months.

What will you do when your food supply ran out and you know that help is no longer coming? When you are left with nothing but dead bodies and your determination to live? This was the grim reality the group had to face weeks after rescuers failed to find them.

I admit I was shocked as I was reading the story. Seeing it in a movie is one thing. But reading the account of a survivor admitting that they actually agreed to eat frozen flesh of their fellow passengers is something else.

But I'm not making any judgements on whether or not it was ethical. It's an issue between them and God.

The initial shock though made me realize how we sort of "eat" other people's "flesh" in order to save ourselves when we feel pushed beyond our limits. How different are we from the plane survivors? Indeed, it is easier to think of ourselves first when situations get out of hand.

The good news though is that we have a choice. We can choose to "eat other people's flesh" or rely on God to save us.

We have a mighty God who is in control of everything. No matter how difficult the situation may be -- whether we face mountains as gigantic as the Everest or we are seemingly surrounded by killer whales in the deep blue sea -- we can be assured that if we put our trust in Him, we will emerge victorious.

God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.1 This is one of my favorite verses which always lifts me up when I'm faced with difficult situations.

Indeed, we are more than conquerors. Things may always not turn out the way we want it, but we can be assured that in the end, God will turn the situation around for good.

It's amazing how God works when we learn to let go of our own abilities and just let Him be God.

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