Complacency Can Kill
I don’t believe it. I was looking forward to seeing some old family friends in the next few days at their annual Christmas party. These friends are an extended, loving family and their parties are famous for fabulous food, gorgeous Christmas decorations and interesting guests. Children, dogs and adults alike wander through the sprawling house, filling the place with happy sounds of play and conversation.
This year we expected more of the same except, of course, some heads would be a little grayer and the children would be a little taller. We will gather together again, indeed, this week, but not to celebrate Christmas. We’ll be gathering for the funeral of the family’s only child, a 10-year old boy. Tragically, he died of a heart attack during the weekend, while on a family holiday. He had been an active, boisterous child, with no apparent health problems. Everyone’s still in shock. How could a seemingly healthy child die of cardiac arrest?
A couple of years ago, some relatives also lost their only son. He was 20 years old, physically fit and a competitive sportsman. In fact, he had been competing with his team in a rowing competition overseas when their boat capsized when they had completed the race and were making their way to shore. Four other young men drowned together with him. Had they followed the safety rules which included waiting to be towed back to the banks of the river, rather than attempting to navigate the unfamiliar, raging river themselves, they might still be alive today.
We still don’t know what caused our friends’ 10-year old boy to have a heart attack. Perhaps the strain of mountain-climbing was just too much for his little body to bear. There must have been some warning signs that he was unwell. Perhaps he was pushed to take on more than he could handle. Of course, we’ll never ask our friends’ these questions. They loved their son dearly and they’re already drowning in guilt.
We can do our best to eat healthily and exercise regularly, but all our efforts will come to naught if we’re complacent. Let’s always take precautions wherever we are, especially when engaging in potentially dangerous activity in unfamiliar territory. Let’s not ignore that strange growth on the body. Let’s always heed warning signs, including the still, small voice within us which sometimes causes us to feel uneasy about something we’re about to do. Let’s never fail to ask God for protection for ourselves as well as our loved ones. I bless my husband in the name of Jesus every time he leaves our home, and pray for his wellbeing. Whenever any of my family members travel, I always pray for their protection.
Let’s never make the mistake of taking what we have for granted. Complacency can kill.