Reflection on an unexpected adrenalin rush

Up until mid afternoon, the greatest drama today was discovering my car’s cooling system overflowing with oil. I managed to nurse it over to the local service centre, just across from where we live, and was discussing it outside with the bloke there when all hell broke loose.

A man went charging past us with another in close pursuit – yelling something incomprehensible and aiming a pistol. A car screamed around the corner and four burly blokes jumped out, heading the man off and waving pistols. They all jumped on him in a rugby scrum, quickly subdued him and cuffed him. A helicopter hovered overhead. It was all over, but for many more plain clothes officers appearing from every direction.

By that time I was beginning to review my response. As soon as I saw the first gun, I shouted to the fellow I was talking to, “Come on – inside!” and (setting an example of inspired leadership, of course) ran into the service station. I turned to see the scrum and saw my conversation partner running away from me towards it – to get a closer look! Sheepishly, I returned to where we had been standing.

And now I reflect on what motivated my instinctive reaction to what was indeed a highly risky situation. I can see it all in slow motion as the options ran through my head. “Is the guy with the gun a good guy or a crook? Whatever, we don’t need to stop any bullets. We need to hit the dirt. Can I pull this guy I’m talking to down without drawing attention to us? No that’s too dramatic. Let’s get inside and out of the way. Come on – inside!”

Self and/or other preservation? Common sense? Over-reaction? It’s interesting to mull over one’s reactions when danger suddenly arises. What would you have done? And as the American evangelicals constantly ask “What would Jesus do?”

Published by wonderingpilgrim

Not really retired but reshaped and reshaping. Now a pilgrim at large ready to engage with what each day brings.

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