What do you call someone who is old enough to know better, and yet makes astoundingly foolish choices that lead to their own death? Well, you might call them “Darwin Award Winners.”

If you’ve not heard of the Darwin Awards, they are a humorous look at utter foolishness. They recognize individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool due to their own actions. The five selection criteria are simple enough. First, the nominee must be dead (or rendered sterile) by their action. Second, they must have displayed such poor judgment as to boggle the mind of the average person. The third criteria is self selection. Fourth in the list is maturity, the individual must be capable of sound judgment. (This means free of mental defect; but does not limit the contribution of alcohol or drugs since many of these events seem to begin with the phrase, “Hold my beer.”) Finally, each event that is selected for a Darwin Award must be verified.

David Monk won himself a Darwin Award after a few too many beers while on holiday in Italy. He and his friends left the ski lodge where they had been drinking and decided to steal a protective mat covering the large metal barrier at the bottom of the ski slope, intending to use the mat as a group snow sled. After dragging themselves and the mat to the top of the hill, they jumped on board for the ride of their lives. Both the ride and David’s life ended when they slammed into the metal barrier they’d stolen the protective mat from, earning David a Darwin Award.

In 1995 Robert Overacker decided to fit his jet ski with both a rocket booster AND a parachute so he could ride the contraption off Niagara Falls. He intended to fire the rocket booster as he crested the falls and then pop the chute at the apex of his flight, gently drifting down to water below while amazed onlookers applauded. Sadly, Robert forgot that water makes things wet. The soaked rocket booster wouldn’t fire and the soaked parachute didn’t open. Uhhmmm, the onlookers didn’t applaud; and Robert didn’t survive. But he did win a Darwin Award.

Today’s verse comes from the prophet Jeremiah:

We know from the scriptures that whoever trusts in the Lord receives a multitude of benefits. When you trust in Him, He is your refuge; His grace is like a fortress surrounding you. Another blessing that comes from trusting in the Lord is His peace. He pours out a peace that even surpasses understanding so that we do not need to be afraid.

Another blessing that comes with the decision to trust in the Lord is clear direction. King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, instructs us to trust in the Lord with all our heart and not to lean on our own understanding. He says that if we will acknowledge God in everything, then He will direct our path.

Jesus blesses His followers who are determined to walk in unity. He prayed that we would be one even as He and the Father are one. We are even told how good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity, and are told that God Himself will command a blessing there.

Although you might not know it from the behavior of some people who claim to follow Him! Sadly, “unity” is not the defining characteristic of today’s fractured church, some churches act more like the winners of the latest Darwin Award that was issued in Sept 2021. After a minor fender-bender one night on I-80 in California, the two drivers both jumped out of their vehicles to argue about who slammed into whom . The argument was taking place in the middle of this very busy highway. I’m pretty sure that neither driver cared about who was right when their argument was ended by a third car striking both men as they stood in the roadway. Double Darwin Award.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we in Christ’s Church could learn how foolish our arguments and divisions are BEFORE we end up victims of our own stubbornness and stupidity? Why do we stand arguing about who is right and who is wrong as people who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus whiz past us on the way to a Christ-less eternity?


Of course the GREATEST blessing of one who places their trust in the Lord is salvation! The offer of the great exchange, our sin and death for His forgiveness and life. Eternity with Christ instead of being plunged into the abyss. That is an amazing blessing.

The thought of “plunging” reminds me of yet another Darwin Award winner, this time a former professional engineer turned lawyer from Toronto named Garry Hoy. He enjoyed impressing visitors by demonstrating the strength of the boardroom’s unbreakable glass windows. He’d run up to one of the windows and throw himself against it, bouncing off of it. Since he was a former professional engineer, he should have known that the term “unbreakable” was not a certainty.

He was reminded of this fact when the boardroom window on the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower building gave way and he plunged to his death.

You may believe that you are brilliant enough to think of a way out of the judgment of God for your sin. Perhaps you’ll try outfitting your coffin with rocket boosters and a parachute to avoid the chasm of hell. Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that you’ve come up with an “unbreakable” alibi, so you don’t need to submit yourself to the lordship of Jesus Christ.

You may be certain that the approach YOU thought up to enter eternity is better than the one Jesus offers.

But I’m not that smart.


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