Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Lessons From the Desert

We can learn a lot from games and the Seoul Diocesan family bureau gives us such a game. The premise is a family flying, and emergency lands in a desert. No one is hurt but they are 62 miles from the nearest inhabited area. The temperature was 116 Fahrenheit and before the plane went up in flames they removed 14 items:

Flashlight, knife, map of the area, compass, emergency medicines, a pistol with ammunition, parachute, a bag of salt, 2 quarts of water for each, a book on how to live in the desert, sun glasses, a bottle of whisky, overcoat for each one, and a cosmetic hand  mirror. These were the items that they want the readers to list in the order of importance. The answer comes from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from their studies on disasters and rescues.

The list begins with the least important of the 14 items which is salt (14). Whisky (13), book on life in the desert (12), is of no use since you don't have time to read and expend energy.  Map of the area (11), they should stop any one who wants to go in search of help. No need for a compass (10), for they know from the rising of the sun and the North Star  the directions on the compass.  No need for the emergency medical supplies (9), no one was injured.  From the 8th  on we have what is necessary to stay alive in the desert.

A pistol which will show their location (8), sunglasses needed (7), pocket knife to make juice from the cactus and aloe (6), parachute (5) can be used as a tent and to gather dew in the morning for drink. Flash light to give the location to the rescue team (4),  water (3)  no need to explain its importance. Overcoats (2), to protect from the hot sun and in the morning from the cold temperatures of the desert.  A cosmetic hand mirror (1) which is used to reflect the sun to show location to the rescue party.

The object of the game explains the writer can be summarized by the passage from proverbs: "The way of the fool seems right in his own eyes, but he who listens to advice is wise" (Proverbs 12:15). Talking this over with a group will usually give better results, but always the danger that those with the loudest voice, rank, the oldest, men rather than women, adults more than children will be heard.

In this exercise what may be considered the most important is not in reality important, and that which is thought least important becomes the most important. Is this not true in our own lives? What we think is important drives out what should be important but we don't realize this truth until too late.

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