Among the more interesting expressions in our culture is this one: saved by the bell. In fact, Saved by the Bell was the name of a highly popular, after-school television program in the 90s that followed the ups and downs of high school students.
But while American kids are often “saved by the bell,” students at one school in Uganda could have easily been killed by their “bell.”
For the last two decades, the African nation of Uganda has been ravaged by war. In that time, the Ugandan military has fought off two separate rebel insurgencies which have left the country in turmoil. Hundreds of thousands have been killed, displaced, or orphaned. For this reason, the country is a popular destination for many relief and humanitarian organizations from around the world.
The Anti-Mine Network is one such group at work in Uganda. This agency has plenty of work to do; the recent wars have left the countryside littered with mines and bombs in regions where important battles were fought.
In the summer of 2011, team members were horrified to find teachers banging rocks against an unexploded bomb to signal the start of class for a 700-student school in a rural province. The team’s coordinator, Wilson Bwambale, told newspapers, “Its head was still active, which means that if it is hit by a stronger force, it would explode instantly and cause untold destruction in the area.”
Strangely, it was the second un-detonated bomb this agency had found in six months’ time that was being used at a school.
When I read this story, I couldn’t help but think about our relationship to sin. We ignorantly interact with it not fully understanding its power over us. We haphazardly and nonchalantly sin, not knowing that it has the power to kill. If we knew how dangerous sin truly was, there is no way we would commit it.
But like those teachers who were banging rocks against bombs, we too risk our own self-inflicted destruction.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)