feeling in need of a little excitement in my life – and I think
I’ve found the answer. Millionaire
entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson, he of Virgin Atlantic, Virgin
records, Virgin mobiles and the somewhat less successful Virgin
trains, has now set his eye on another market to conquer – virgin
by 2007 no less, he hopes to offer commercial space flights to all and
everyone at the meagre cost of 210,000US$ per head.
If it wasn’t for my kid’s educational needs and the
mortgage on the house, I’d have signed up already.
spacecraft, VSS Enterprise, will rush passengers up one hundred
kilometres into space where they can experience the joys of
weightlessness and stare back at earth for something just over four
minutes. It must be
the ultimate adrenalin rush and I guess the three days of health
checks and training that goes before it all add to the excitement.
you, as I read through the rest of my newspaper and learn of oil at
$50’s a barrel and of future forecast shortages I wonder whoever
will be able to afford the luxury.
It’s also a little disconcerting to see that kind of expense
contrasted with developing world debt and the increasing plight of the
poor, even in developed countries.
Somehow the world seems very out of balance.
the whole idea of adventure and adrenalin rush is not necessarily a
bad one. Over the years
that I have been directing this programme you will have noticed that
from time to time I report from some fairly active locations – teen
adventure camps, Pathfinder Camporees, biking and hiking adventures
with the odd bit of kayaking and surfing thrown in for good measure.
Some of my colleagues in the office think I’m mad and that,
at age 46, I should be settling down slowly to more leisurely
activities. For me, I
think you’re as young as you feel, and while I’ve never been into
“competitive sport” I do enjoy activity that gets me out in
nature, develops skills – and yes, gives something of an adrenalin
rush. And yes, I enjoy
teaching and helping young people develop those skills as well.
it was something of a disappointment hear David Bell, the UK’s chief
inspector of Schools express his concern that less schools are getting
involved in outdoor activities, mainly through fear of litigation.
I can understand it. To
be involved in outdoor activities involves risk.
And where there is risk there will be accidents however hard
you try to prevent them. He
argues that teachers need to be trained to manage risk and that it
would be a great tragedy if outdoor education becomes lost to all but
couple of instances spring to my mind.
An 8 year old boy, scared of water.
We were on a half day kayaking experience.
He was too scared to get in a kayak.
So I went in a double kayak with him.
As he gained confidence he sat right in front of me and placed
his hands on my paddle, learning the strokes from me.
Within the next half hour he took over and actually took us in
a more or less straight line back to shore.
You could not have seen a prouder lad that evening.
He had achieved!
was a 14 year old girl, brought up in the city, and scared of bikes.
Again I found myself riding beside her telling her when to
change gear, what to do and when to do it.
At the end of the ride she swore she would never do it again.
Three years later I found her working as a volunteer helper on
an outdoor activity camp – helping younger children gain confidence
on their mountain bikes.
years ago I led a group of teens up a mountain in the English Lake
District. My son was a 7
month old baby in a backpack. I
led from the front. Helped
some overcome their fear of heights.
Saw them work as a team to get to the top.
Saw the joy and exhaustion in their faces when they made it
back down from the summit. Today
I meet those youth from time to time.
They have never forgotten.
It was one of those growth experiences.
are many ways it can happen. For
me it has been with the outdoor activities – also getting youth
involved in worship and overcoming their fears as they lead out from
the front. With others it
is developing the skills of helping others, or of growing their own
crops, or developing craft or hobby skills.
Whatever the method, I would challenge you to find a way to let
the adrenalin flow.
as the Para Olympics come to a climax, Paul even sees it in terms of
his life with Christ:
you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the
prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25Everyone who competes in
the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that
will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1
Cor. 9:24-25 (NIV)
will be the best adrenalin rush of all – winning with Jesus -- and
if you check the beginning of John 14 – you’ll even find it
results in a free space journey far better than any Richard Branson
could offer. See you