Wild eXtremes

To go ‘wild’ or not to go ‘wild’, that is the question – with apologies to William S.

In the discussion about ‘Wild at Heart’, a comment some time ago, unrelated to this book, from a Christian brother came to mind. This is a man who has a number of adult children, including several sons, and thereby lots of experience. One day in conversation I was joking about the propensity of his offspring (all solid believers) to indulge in extreme sports and other adrenilin pumping passtimes. His comments were interesting.

To summarize, he felt that the lure of risk was programmed into the youth by our Lord for His own purposes. Youth were drawn to risk so that they could risk for the Lord. They could step out in risky ways that old believers were unlikely or unable to. With no Christ-centered outlet for this risk taking (eg. evangelism) in many modern senarios, the urge was miss-channeled by society into other areas. This remade the youth into consumers of one sort or another in seeking an outlet in other types of risk.

So the proposition is that the risk taking is by design, and that it is designed to allow them to step out for the Lord, possibly dramatically.

An interesting idea indeed!

While I have taken my share of risks when a youth (many inappropriate by this analysis), I am well past that now. Nonetheless, the idea, when applied the current popularity of eXtreme sports, would tend to see them as an abberation. That is intriguing.

It is also very different indeed from the Eldridge-ification discussed earlier…

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2 Responses to “Wild eXtremes”

  1. cnaphan says:

    Well, anthropologists always say that men used to be the hunters and women used to be the gatherers. And let us just say that compared to our line of work these days, even picking berries sounds thrilling. I don’t think the primitive men came home and said “Boy, it was sure fun hunting that bear with sharp sticks. Now, I wish we could throw ourselves off a cliff with elastic bands around our ankles.” Obviously, in a bygone era, the need for “thrills” was supplied by carnivore attacks, plagues, wars, floods, famines, deaths, etc…The modern man, with a bit of luck, could probably go his entire life without a single thrill.

    But how can a Christian decide whether an “fun” activity is risky to the point of being foolish and sinful? I enjoy martial arts, ski-dooing, skiing, wall-climbing, canoeing, etc… all of which have built-in risks. And none of which are necessary or glorifying to God per se. They also tend to cost money. Is it poor stewardship of life and resources to partake in these things? Is there some positive aspect to these activities?

  2. kwilson says:

    [quote post=”110″]Is it poor stewardship of life and resources to partake in these things? Is there some positive aspect to these activities?[/quote]

    Interesting question. I would say no more than any other recreational acitivity – with the caveat that is would seem somehow wrong to do harm to oneself. My juggling thread is another example – there are Christian related lessons to learn but it should not become a ministry focus.

    What I wouldn see as error would be the enshrining of any of them into a ministry, other than as a peripheral activity. It then becomes an entertainment ministry. If that was the case, then the focus would be away from our Lord and His Word. Maybe my thinking it too narrow, but…

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