This past summer and this past Saturday, something happened that will literally leave you speechless.
In July, according to USA TODAY, “After posting dozens of videos — some of which celebrate cliff jumping, breaking bones and adrenaline-fueled adventures — a YouTube channel with over half-a-million subscribers somberly announced the death of ‘3 very dear friends’ on Friday. The tearful video on the ‘High on Life’ channel comes days after a waterfall accident associated with the group. On Wednesday, Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced that three people had died after slipping and falling from a pool at the top of Shannon Falls in British Columbia. The three fell a distance of approximately 100 feet, according to the release.”1
The three friends, Ryker Gamble, Megan Scraper and Alexey Lyakh, were part of a travel vlog with more than 1.1 million followers on Instagram in addition to hundreds of thousands who followed on YouTube. Apparently, Megan was standing near the edge of the falls when she slipped and fell. Ryker and Alexey tried to rescue her and also fell to their deaths.
The High on Life group had been criticized before for videos they had posted of dangerous stunts. Though they posted serious warnings to those who would view them, it simply served to elicit more viewers.
This past Saturday, another Canadian, rapper Jon James, fell to his death while filming a wing-walking stunt on an airplane. The tragic accident also took place in British Columbia where James was filming a music video on the wing of a small Cessna. Tragically, as James “walked further out onto the wing of the small Cessna plane, the aircraft began a downward spiral that the pilot couldn’t correct, according to statements from the rapper’s manager, Ryan Desrochers.” 2
I’m not against taking risks. But what are we risking and what are we risking it for?
"His final act included performing an airplane stunt that included rapping while walking on the wing. He had trained intensely for this stunt; however, as Jon got further out onto the wing of the plane, it caused the small Cessna to go into a downward spiral that the pilot couldn’t correct," Desrochers said. "Jon held onto the wing until it was too late, and by the time he let go, he didn’t have time to pull his chute. He impacted and died instantly.” 3
The pilot and others on board the plane were able to land safely.
I’M NOT AGAINST TAKING RISKS.
Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, in their book, Bang! said, “The Pilgrims sailed off in ships that would fit in a duck pond. Rosa Parks sat in the front of the bus. Charles Lindbergh flew east. Somebody, somewhere, ate that first piece of garlic.”4
I’M NOT AGAINST TAKING RISKS. But what are we risking and what are we risking it for?
William Shedd wrote, “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” And Theodore Roosevelt said, “No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his body, to risk his well-being, to risk his life, in a great cause.”
Popular author and pastor, Mark Batterson, said, “The circumstances vary, but the law of risk is universal and eternal: The more you’re willing to risk, the more God can use you. And if you’re willing to risk everything, then there is nothing God can’t do in you and through you.” 5
We should be willing to risk everything and go all in and all out for God. But a person would be a fool if he or she risks living this life or doing anything in this life without God.
That would be worse than swimming near the edge of a high waterfall or wing walking on a single engine Cessna.
That’s a wrap.
© 2018. Barry L. Cameron
1 Shannon, Joel. “'High on Life': Adrenaline-Fueled YouTube Channel Mourns after 3 Die in Waterfall Accident.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 7 July 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/07/07/vloggers-mourn-after-3-die-waterfall/765671002/.
2 Dudar, Hasan. “Canadian Rapper Jon James Falls to His Death Filming Stunt on Wing of Airplane.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 24 Oct. 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/life/2018/10/23/canadian-rapper-jon-james-death-filming-stunt-airplane/1743763002/.
4 Thaler, Linda Kaplan, et al. Bang!: Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World. Currency/Doubleday, 2005, Pg. 43.
5 Batterson, Mark. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars. Multnomah, 2016. Pg. 102
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.