An unforgettable adventure

Published 3:59 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I’ve never been one to explore the caves that are underneath South Georgia. There are many and I can recall friends who had adventurous spirits and weren’t afraid to crawl into a small hole in the ground. Not me. I like being able to stand up and, besides, I don’t know what or who else is in that dark hole!

I would say that anyone who would go into a small hole in the ground for an adventure is crazy! But, that’s just my honest and accurate opinion.

Talk of caves today reminds us of the recent travail of the Thailand soccer team as they experienced an adventure gone awry. They might have entered this popular mountainous cave for the purpose of a little innocent exploration, but, in the end, the whole world joined in the experience. I would think that the twelve boys and their coach will never forget what happened.

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At first, they simply wanted to have a little fun in this familiar cave. They did not foresee the flash flood that would drive them from a few hundred yards of safe exploration into the depths of danger. To escape the rising waters, the team and their coach retreated a mile or two into the cave and became lost.

Can you imagine the panic that arose in the bodies, minds, and spirits of those young boys and their parents as they came face to face with the reality of their situation?

We are so used to happy endings that it was assumed they would be found and rescued. I mean, the alternative that they would not and would all perish underground was unthinkable.

Yet, the longer they were lost and we heard the explanation of how difficult their rescue would be, we came face to face with a big dose of reality. They might not make it out.

Churches all around the world began to pray in earnest for their lives. Their great need united the world as very little else does these days. Their story was the opening of every newscast.

The very fact that they were located and we saw pictures of them brought joy and hope. But those hopes took a downturn when a brave Thailand seal died as a result of his efforts to help in the rescue. We had to face the reality that a happy ending might not be coming.

The very basic ingredient of oxygen to enable breathing was not a given. Monsoon rains were a possibility and, if the rains came sooner than expected, the rescue was a question mark instead of a done deal.

If necessity is the mother of invention, situations like the one in Thailand, bring to the top an indomitable human spirit. Ingenuity and bravery step forward just about every time. Ingenuity with schemes of how to do what are somehow found. Food and oxygen made it to the boys.

Courage came to the fore in those divers that found their way to get to the team. A plan of action appeared and two boys were rescued. Then four more and the hope that had dimmed became brighter.

Prayers were answered. The monsoon rain did not prevent every life from being rescued. The boys must have had a little South Georgia in them. Of all the foods that I heard mentioned, the one that caught my ear was that they were looking forward to fried chicken. Who would have thought?

I think when school starts back in Thailand there are at least twelve boys who will have a very interesting “What I did on my summer vacation” story to tell.