The world celebrated the rescue of 12 Thai soccer boys and their coach from a flooded cave in Mae Sai, Thailand. We grieved over the loss of one brave man, Saman Kunam, who sacrificed his life to deliver supplies to the trapped boys. Many of us watched the media reports fearfully, prayed and hoped for a miracle.
The deliverance of all the young boys and their coach at the hands of skilled divers was something we jointly cheered about. Reports have indicated that time was running out for them. More flooding was coming; oxygen and food were in dismal supply. Yet, reports are that 10,000 people participated in the rescue effort, including 2,000 soldiers, 200 divers and representatives from 100 government agencies.
We don’t want scenarios like what happened in Thailand to ever occur. Such a scenario was a global nightmare but was something that no political group, religious entity or anyone would surely debate. Everything possible would be done to save those young Thai boys.
Yet every day on this planet there are desperate plights playing out around the globe. Young children in Syria still live lives of daily desperation. Families in Iraq and Afghanistan do not face a day without the fear of who may invade their homes to rape, pilfer and murder their families. There are a lot of problems around the world. Hunger, clean water shortages, medical care availability and violence exist to some degree almost everywhere it seems.
We have all the above and more in America. Employment is better, the stock market is up and the military is stronger than it has been in a long time, yet with all we have going for us how many people emotionally feel like they are in a watery cave and their time is running out?
Throughout our country people still struggle with healthcare. Insurance companies continue to call the shots on procedures and treatments. Doctors order what they feel like the insurance company will agree to or pay for. Is this always in the best interest of the patient or is it always in the best interest of the insurance company? How many Americans are on the verge of drowning from inadequate medical care and are also up to their necks in debt from medical costs? Surely this is a call for national concern, prayer but more than anything it’s a tremendous alarm for us to continue to work together to do something.
The recent shooting in Annapolis, Maryland reminded us again that we have a violence issue, mental issues and gun availability issues in this nation. Everybody should not have a gun in America. Do we not feel like we have all died again every time there is a school or random community shooting? We have to quit arguing about “your gun” and “my gun” and work together to fix all of this and it’s a lot to fix.
Of course, we still have rampant poverty in America. We have too many communities who are afraid to drink their water. Kids are still bullied at school. Nursing homes are still nightmares emotionally and financially and there is always another earthquake, hurricane, tornado, flood or fire just around the corner.
There is so much about our everyday world that strains us and keeps us fighting for survival. Maybe we can all learn something from the divers and many people from all over the world who came together to rescue those young men from a watery grave. If we don’t fight each other and work together for solutions we might solve more of our problems that are about to end our existence.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is President of Newburgh Theological Seminary, Newburgh, Indiana and his syndicated column is read in all 50 states. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of this paper or its corporate ownership.