Tim Samaras, one of the stars of the Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers” TV program, was killed this week (6-1-13) while chasing an F3 tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma. Samaras’ 24 year old son and a 45 year old colleague were also killed by the storm.
Samaras didn’t chase these storms frivolously, for fun or sport. “Tim was a courageous and brilliant scientist who fearlessly pursued tornadoes and lightning in an effort to better understand these phenomena,” said National Geographic Executive Vice President Terry Garcia.
Garcia, fellow storm chasers, meteorologists, colleagues, friends, and family were all shocked to hear of Samaras’ demise. He was known in the business as “one of the safest people to go out there.”
“Tim was not a cowboy,” Mike Nelson, chief meteorologist for Denver’s ABC affiliate, said. “He was as cautious as possible about his approach to studying these dangerous storms.”
Samaras successfully chased some 125 storms over the course of his 20 year career. And yet, for all his caution, Samaras is now gone, having fallen victim to nature’s power.
Although Samaras had a reputation for being “one of the safest people to go out there,” how safe could anyone be while making a living chasing dangerous storms? To be as “cautious as possible,” shouldn’t he have been running the other way?
Some approach sin the way Mr. Samaras approached storms. They think of caution as getting as close as possible without getting hurt. The truth is, no matter how committed, spiritually savvy, or experienced we may be, we run the risk of succumbing to sin’s power when we allow ourselves to get too close. When it comes to sin, we must be ever vigilant to avoid being caught up into the vortex of its unholy influence.
The apostle Paul declared, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (1 The. 5:21-22). “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” (Rom. 12:9). “Save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler” (Pro. 6:5; ESV). “Flee fornication…” (1 Cor. 6:18). “Flee from idolatry…” (1 Cor. 10:14). “Flee youthful lusts…: (2 Tim. 2:22). “O man of God, flee these things…” (1 Tim. 6:11).
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