Friday, May 31, 2013

Christianity and the Tough Mudder

I was watching the Today Show on NBC recently and saw that the staff members were challenged to participate in an unusually difficult obstacle course called the Tough Mudder. The one thing that struck me as different was that the participants were encouraged to help each other so that everyone was able to continue all the way. The program by that name was apparently originally part of British military training, but in recent years entrepreneurs have been selling it to the general public for substantial participation fees. Modern military training in Great Britain and in the U.S. is placing more emphasis on teamwork and especially leaving no member behind.

While Christianity is best known for access to life after death, for over two thousand years it has been teaching teamwork and the importance of every human life.  In the 1930’s my brother died suddenly of a deadly disease called diphtheria. My parents and I were taken to a Roman Catholic hospital and they too nearly died of the disease. I was immunized and cared for by a nun at the hospital until they were sure I was free of the disease. Thanks to a Christian team effort I and my parents were able to survive and I was able to have a successful career as a research scientist and teacher.

That brief example from my life is a story that has been repeated in many forms over the history of Christianity, but the lesson it teaches is often lost in the background. Today there are teams of Christians working diligently all over the world to make sure that every human life is as good as it can be.
   Robert C. Frank
   Author of Christ’s Team