Hot Air Balloons And Other Death Machines
Alex and I took 5-day trip years back and one of the things we decided to do was to go on a hot air balloon ride. We had to wake up at 4AM to go to a one-hour lesson on hot air balloon safety before heading over to the big wide-open field where the balloons were kept. When we got there they put us into groups and assigned us a balloon. Our balloon looked very old and the guy trying to get it started did not look very competent or mentally healthy, so we snuck off the line and moved to another. Unfortunately, we were spotted and brought back to our spot. Finally, the guy got it started and we all hopped in. As we lifted into the sky at sunrise we were in awe of how beautiful and peaceful it was. That lasted about 10 minutes. And then we hit into a tree. The very mentally stable balloon guy started screaming that he had no control of the balloon and that it was likely that we were going to hit a powerline which did not seem like good news. He decided to land on the highway which seemed like a very good idea. Luckily, he missed the highway, but this made him increasingly less happy and honestly, he looked terrified. Eventually we landed in an open field with him screaming bend your knees or you will break your legs. When we finally landed, he let us know that we were on private property, so we better get off quickly. So, we began running towards the fence which no joke was barb wired. Together we worked at throwing the grandmas and young children over the fence and then helping each other. When we got back to the bus the driver was standing there smiling with glasses of champagne and welcomed us back with no mention of what had just happened or the balloon that they could clearly see flaming and on its side. One of the most interesting parts of the experience that when we got to the field, we saw the emergency team meeting which was one young man. That did not seem like enough but that one man tackled the balloon and got us all off and out safely while our balloon guy continues to scream and curse and tremble.
So many lessons here to teach your children. The first is up to you but I might suggest that they avoid these fiery balloons in general. The second lesson is to follow their guts and not to allow others to discourage them from doing that. Alex and I knew that we needed to get away from that balloon but allowed a very young man who had no real influence over us to push us into what we knew was an unsafe situation. The third is to keep your cool when you are put in a situation that is difficult. Tell them about balloon guy who literally crumbled before our eyes and turned a bad situation into a worse situation. He screamed at us, cursed profusely, and repeatedly said Jesus Christ but not to ask him for help but to add to his repertoire of curses. But there was a second man. This man stood in front of what I’m estimating was a 500-pound balloon with fuel and a basket for 16 people and stopped it. He had nothing with him except for will and determination and a desire to save 16 strangers from a fiery death. We will all have choices in life where we can curse Jesus for our bad luck or ask for the power to change the situation. I pray that when given the chance your children will learn to call out to Jesus not to shout at him.