Happiness. It's what we long for, it’s what we search for. Happiness: in our jobs, with our families, in our homes and especially in our leisure time. Happiness is the tagline for Dreamworld. You go to Dreamworld expecting a day of adrenaline loving happiness. We expect kids will come off rides with big smiles on their faces, wanting to go again. We love the sense of fear as we slowly go up the rise at the beginning of the roller coaster, ready to hurtle down the other side. We challenge each other to raise our arms and scream for fun. We laugh as we come off feeling dizzy or sometimes wishing we hadn’t eaten that burger for lunch.
It’s a day away from the real world, it’s a chance to escape and have some fun. Sure sometimes it occurs to us that something could go wrong but we trust the engineers and safety officers have done their jobs and we put those fears away. The expectation is that in this ‘dream world’, nothing can go wrong, except maybe a few tantrums, a painful wait in a queue, or some overpriced food. A four year old once said to me as I took her on her first roller coaster ride ‘It’s not like you’re going to die’. I used to think this comment was funny but it isn’t anymore.
The deaths at Dreamworld have rocked people’s worlds, death is not supposed to happen in our dream world. Death is always tragic. But this event has brought an outcry in the media and in the public that far outweighs other deaths. People die in awful accidents all over the world every day and yet this event at Dreamworld has had far more media attention and reaction than many of these. In the same week, a bus driver was burnt to death in Brisbane. A shocking and horrible public death and yet the number of news articles about Dreamworld are 18 times more than articles about the bus driver’s death. Why?
We don’t live in a perfect world, we know that. We live in a world where there is suffering, pain and death. Sometimes death can even be a relief from the pain. But at Dreamworld death has struck at the heart of happiness.
At Dreamworld death has struck at the heart of happiness.
Death has shown it can bring sadness, fear and terror right into our dream world. And there is nothing we can really do to stop it or control it. We think we can. One quote I read on Facebook said ‘Does it matter what ride, it should not of happened, the death of four people on a day out is mind blowing, the money they get you would think everything would be 100% perfect’. But in light of the events, we are reminded that nowhere and no aspect of our lives is immune from the power of death.
But there is a place of safety and security from death. It is the person of Jesus. Jesus showed he had power over death when he called his friend Lazarus from the tomb four days after he died. And he showed he had power over death when he rose from the dead himself. The whole story of the bible is one of rescue, rescue from death, rescue through death.
The whole story of the bible is one of rescue, rescue from death, rescue through death.
Jesus goes to the cross to die in the place of the people he created so we can have life. When Jesus came back to life he showed he could conquer death. The promise of God is that if we trust in the death and resurrection of his son then we can live forever. We can look forward to a happiness that will never end.
Dreamworld always ends, sooner or later you have to leave. But those that trust Jesus look forward to the promise of a world where ‘There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ Revelation chapter 21. We can’t control death, we can’t stop it but we can trust in the one who has conquered death and he will give life.