We watched a movie tonight about an incident that really happened the year I graduated from college. It was the year of the Challenger explosion and the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl. I remember those things very clearly. But I don’t remember hearing about the Cookeville, WY, incident back then, probably due to the timing of it. It was a few days after my college graduation, and just thinking back on it, I was probably sleeping that whole week. I’m sure I was a bit distracted wondering what on earth I was going to do next.
Anyway, the story is an interesting one. A little, close-knit town in Wyoming was terrorized by a guy who took the whole elementary school hostage. Close to 100 kids plus teachers and a few others were all put in one of the classrooms and this guy held them there for 2 hours because he had a home-made bomb and some guns with him. He was an angry, crazed man, and his wife helped him, probably due to him being an angry, crazed man.
The wife’s portrayal in the film was wide-eyed like a doe and a little ditzy, but I wondered what would have had to have happened in her life to get so easily swayed by a man like that. They didn’t develop that side of the story…but I always find that fascinating. “Stuff” happens to us all; sometimes of our own choosing, but sometimes not. What matters is now we deal with what happens to us, and our choices on the other side of the “stuff.”
I know the director wanted to focus on the positive, on the miracles that happened that day (And there were many, many miracles that happened). It’s a cool story to listen to; only the crazy dude and his wife were killed. The kids and the teachers all lived, despite the bomb going off prematurely in the midst of all those people. And, at the close of the film, the director was sensitive to other similar situations where the miracles weren’t so evident. I thought it was approached well.
DAY 296 HOMEWORK: If you’ve not seen The Cokeville Miracles, you can see it as part of Amazon Prime. But the homework I want you to think about is what you do with the “stuff” in your life. We can respond positively or negatively to it. We can take the high road, or be held hostage by it. If we’re held hostage, by nature, that will hold others hostage. Think on that.