Before I started the activities that I had planned for this day, I decided to first visit one of the local hairdressers. Although in my case my hair does not present much of a challenge, I have to give it my regular attention. While I was waiting for a few moments—enjoying my coffee that is always immediately offered—I considered how this place would provide a very suitable place for a hostage situation. It would be very easy for a recently returned jihadist or a confused inhabitant of Zeewolde, to enter with a genuine or fake gun, and to threaten the three hairdressers and the four customers, for instance in exchange for a fully paid vacation in some luxurious resort somewhere in the world!
Of course, there can be dangerous situations anywhere. Yesterday I travelled with the TGV, and later the Thallys (comfortable fast trains) through France. All over the world you have to pass strict security checks before you can enter a plane, but no one checks whether you have a suspicious parcel with you or have a gun under your jacket before you enter such a fast train. And I never see any obvious security measures before I drive my car onto a ferry. Who knows what might be hidden in all the trunks of the cars that are tightly packed together on the car deck?
Of course, it is impossible to make our world totally safe. Someone might get the idea to take a congregation in a full church hostage on Saturday morning, or might even start shooting the people at random because of some serious grudge against the church or the pastor. It may be possible to protect buildings or big events, when there is an imminent danger. For instance, synagogues may need surveillance for some time. Even some Adventist institutions need constant protection, sometimes even by armed guards. But complete safety is not possible.
Well, even at home, something may happen to us, when we are careless, and as soon as we leave our home or go on a journey, there are plenty of dangers. You can never be sure that nothing will happen to you, and at the end of the day there is always reason to be thankful that you got home safe and sound, and got safely through the day. For those who believe in God there will always be a reason to say ‘Thank You’ to the Lord at the end of each day.
This past week a few fishermen from the fishing village of Urk drowned in the Channel near Dover. The regional TV-station (TV Flevoland) of course, paid more attention to this than the national media. I found one detail of the news broadcast quite remarkable. The commentator told the viewers that Urker fishermen always pay a short visit to their closest relatives on Sunday evening before they take to the sea early Monday morning. For you never know . . .
There is something to this: to be aware that you never know what will happen to you. To say goodbye, before taking to the sea the next day! Maybe here is a lesson that we can learn from the Urker fishermen.