Monday, July 23, 2007

The Randomness of Life!!

In my last post, I talked about my incredible adventure in France. It truly was an amazing trip. But something happened yesterday that has left me in a bit of a daze. I think that you'll find this incredible too.

The first part of our 'tour de France' was spent visiting one of the most amazing places I've ever seen...the Sanctuary of Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette. It's a religious site that is nestled high in the French Alps. It's so high up that you're sure that it's Heaven's next door neighbor. It's beautiful... picturesque...breathtaking. It's a place of solitude...serenity and peace. The road to this holy place is narrow and winding. At some points along the way you find yourself wondering why you would risk your life to see this place. But then you remind yourself that your driver and guide are experienced and that they've done this many times before.

What could possibly happen?

What happened yesterday, on that very same road...coming from that very same place...was disastrous. Twenty-six Polish tourist were killed and many others were injured when their bus...which might have been the same one I traveled on...missed a hard ninety degree turn and careened off the road; bursting into flames and dropping nearly one hundred feet to a river bed below. I remember that turn because, on the way down the mountain, I sat behind the driver and marveled at how nonchalantly he maneuvered the vehicle down the steep grade and around the many twists and turns. And the one where the accident took place stood out because, in a ride filled with extremes, it was the most extreme. It was a turn that was unforgiving...you handle it the wrong way and you're done for. It's that simple. But yet, on our trip it was just another twist in the road. We slowed, turned and continued on our way. For yesterday's victims...well...it was the end of the road.

You can't help but wonder 'why them'? We made it...others made it...why didn't they make it? We'll never get an answer to that question...not in this world. But it makes you realize just how unpredictable life really is. When you think that you have it all figured out and you've planned for every possibility...life throws you a curve ball.

I don't know if it was our tour bus. It could have been our driver and guide. I do know that if it was them then they're gone now...part of the twenty-six who perished. I pray for them all. They were only doing what I did a few days earlier.

You have to wonder about the randomness of life.

3 comments:

Mark Wyatt said...

Jim:

I have driven that road several times. The most dangerous part (except maybe that turn) is near the shrine. Sad story. I linked you into my blog piece on the same subject.

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com

Jim Harrington said...

Mark...
It's hard to believe that something so tragic can happen in such a bucolic place. Thank you for the comment and the link.
Jim

jean said...

Jim,
I too have been there. The ride up is so amazing and spiritual. As you go higher and higher, it is as if you're leaving troubles and everyday concerns and riding to see God. The fall must have been horrifying!They are in my prayers.
Jean

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