What does the Bible say about extreme sports such as skydiving, high speed, high altitude hikes, etc.? Please help me with an answer.
The question is interesting, especially since I also have my youngest son at home, who is very passionate about longboarding and gets up at 4 in the morning to practice.I admit it makes me feel uneasy, but whenever he goes out and I see him or when I remember him, I pray that God will protect him. I’m tempted to forbid him to do it, but I remember that I was very passionate about such sports at his age and even now I’m tempted by something like this. I would like to parachute, conquer the heights of the mountains, etc. I also asked this question to my friends on the Internet and I saw that most of them were interested in having such experiences. But, receiving the question, I tried to see what the Bible says.
Many of us, especially men, and especially during adolescence and youth, are curious to know our physical limits, but also those related to the will. Extreme sports provide a good framework for checking these limits. However, I remember this passage from the Bible, which was referred to by other friends of mine when I asked them the question on Facebook. The text is as follows:
The naive believes everything, but the sensible person considers his steps. A wise person is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless. (Proverbs 14:15-16 NASB)
When I read this passage to my son Daniel, who practices longboarding, he told me that he thinks that the text refers to guarding against sin and not to extreme sports. He was right in part, but I still think the wise man is well aware of what he is doing and deviates from all evil and danger. I also think about this verse:
Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and one who hurries his footsteps errs. (Proverbs 19:2 NASB)
Running foolishly means ignoring the dangers, and this happens more often in your youth. I want to tell you an example from my life. In 1996 I participated together with the national Taekwon-Do team of Moldova in the demonstration program of the Olympics in Atlanta, USA. We were once invited to visit a Christian family and they had three four-wheeled ATVs. They had a big field surrounded by barbed wire, because it was on a farm, and we started to race. It was an interesting competition and in the middle of it I overtook any speed, so at one point I saw the ATV I was riding going straight into a barbed wire fence made of the best American quality, and there was no way to I changed its direction, because it would have overturned and been even worse.
In those few short moments until I collided with the fence, I started to think that I was going to die for sure, and I was very sorry that I was dying so stupidly and for no reason. God did a great miracle, so I broke the fence, the ATV passed on the other side, and I got away with just a few scratches. I thanked the Lord for saving my life, but after that I had a very unpleasant feeling for a few days. I was sorry for the immaturity I had shown in this behavior. I thought about how I was married, I had a 5 year old child at home and my wife was pregnant with my second child, and I acted so carelessly…
It should also be noted that any sport seems dangerous to those around them, because they do not know about its implications and that there are rules and precautions that any athlete must take. Thus, Taekwon-Do, the martial art that I have been practicing for 26 years, seems to be a dangerous one, but in training there are precautions that every coach and athlete must know and apply. In fact, this is true for any human activity, because anywhere there is a danger of making mistakes that will cost you a lot or maybe even your life if you are not careful.
When I was in Krasnoyarsk, a friend of mine invited me to learn to ski. I used to do this as a child when I made skis from barrel sticks, but I forgot everything and I wasn’t sure I would succeed. So, when I got there, I asked all the questions related to avoiding dangers, then I practiced on a children’s track, and then I managed to go downhill on the same day three times on the longest slope. It was a wonderful experience.
When I was teaching in Krasnodar, I discovered that one of my students, a deacon, was a paragliding instructor. All my life I wanted to fly, too, I really wanted to be a pilot at some point in my life. So, half jokingly, half seriously, I asked the brother and he taught me to fly too, and it was a wonderful experience.
When I visited a friend who was surfing, I was curious, I asked him questions, and then he offered to teach me. After struggling for two hours on the water, I was able to stand on the board for 5 seconds. The friend said it was a great achievement for the first time. Another interesting experience then was that while I was struggling to learn, a seal came and stuck its head right next to me, so I could have stroked its head, but I didn’t dare. It gave even more charm to the experience I had that day.
I enjoy watching people do extreme sports, and whenever I see something that impresses me, I remember the Bible verse where David says:
I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. (Psalms 139:14 NASB)
At the same time, I remember the experience I had with the motorcycle and especially the conclusions I made after that accident, and I would not want to die stupidly, neither I nor others. May God help us to glorify Christ in our lives and in our death and not be ashamed of anything.
Translated by Ina Croitoru