Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad
Impressions pre-reset: 420826 Clicks pre-reset: 872

Keeping the Faith - At the Brink

ronniemcbrayer300 blackKENTUCKY (9/29/13) - You may not be aware of this, but our planet and its people should be bursting with relieved celebration, because 30 years ago this week, life as we have known it, came perilously close to the end.

It was September 1983, and the Cold War was anything but cold. President Ronald Reagan was in the White House calling the Soviet Union an “evil empire;” the United States invaded the island of Granada; and the military introduced a ballistic missile defense system that would become known as “Star Wars.”

Meanwhile, Great Britain and France were implementing their own aggressive nuclear weapons program that year, and the Soviet Union conducted more than a half-dozen underground nuclear test explosions.

It was also on September 1, 1983, that the USSR shot down Korea Air Flight 007 when it strayed near Soviet airspace, killing all 269 civilians on board including Georgia Congressman Larry McDonald. It was as close to war as the US and the USSR had come since the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was tense, but that’s not the half of it.

Three weeks after the Flight 007 incident, with passions running high on both sides, and with thousands of nuclear warheads aimed at each other, one of the greatest heroes of our time quietly went to work at a Soviet military base just outside of Moscow. His name was Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov, and until a few years ago, no one knew of his heroics.

At the time the Soviets had a highly sophisticated early warning system against US ballistic missile attacks. It was Petrov’s duty to monitor this alert system in the event of a preemptive nuclear attack. The responding protocol was to launch an immediate all-out counterattack.

On September 26, 1983, the unthinkable happened. Suddenly, at Colonel Petrov’s station, the computer alarms sounded, warning that an American missile was heading toward the Soviet Union. Petrov waited. He reasoned that it had to be a computer error since the United States was not likely to launch just one missile if it were attacking the Soviet Union.

But then, a second missile was detected; then a third; a fourth, and a fifth. The sky seemed to be filled with American warheads! Still, Petrov had a “funny feeling in his gut,” that the alert system was malfunctioning. Further, it was unthinkable, for him, that he would be the final reason for a war that would end human civilization.

So, Petrov sat on the alert message, overrode the security system, and prevented the USSR from retaliating. The seconds passed, then minutes, and finally an hour: There were no missiles. His gut feeling had been right all along. The warning system had failed with near cataclysmic consequences for the human race.

Singlehandedly, Petrov had prevented a worldwide nuclear war, simply by not becoming a participant in it. And for averting this cosmic disaster Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov was relieved of his duty, and the entire episode was locked away in the cellar of Soviet secrets for nearly two decades.

The Pauline admonition is fitting upon the anniversary of Petrov’s heroics. Paul wrote, “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” Literally translated, “Whatever comes out of you, let it lead to peace.” It is redemptive counsel to us to do all we can to protect harmony; clearly, don’t be the one responsible for creating conflict – exceed all limits – to neutralize it.

Now, not every personal or individual skirmish has the potential to balloon into a global apocalypse. But worldwide wars are not that much different than private ones in the end. The same tit for tat is in play. The same wounded pride demands to be assuaged. And likewise, at some point in the conflict there is an opportunity for someone to step away from the brink.

There is opportunity for someone to refuse to perpetuate the ruthless cycle of attack and counterattack; for someone to reject the established protocol of retaliation; for someone to practice peace. Let that someone be you. You might just save the world.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
button coupons
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
button classifieds
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week

November 21, 2014 7307

Man Accused of Assaulting Coach During Basketball…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
November 22, 2014 4958

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collision in Greenville

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Miria Thomas
November 21, 2014 4664

Crashing Dump Trucks in Work Zone Cause Pennyrile…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
November 21, 2014 3895

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
November 21, 2014 3706

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Nov. 21, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
November 21, 2014 3260

Swimming and Diving Closes Fall Season at Ohio…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
November 24, 2014 3087

Two Charged for Possession of Meth After…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by MCSO/PIO Alex Piper
November 21, 2014 2994

Kentucky Employers to Save About $112 million

in General News For All Sites by Cathy Lindsey
November 25, 2014 2645

Madisonville Man Charged for Selling Cocaine

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 25, 2014 2517

Call for Help Results in Arrest for Possession of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

November 25, 2014 1694

Protect Your Home When Traveling This Holiday…

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 26, 2014 1180

Baptist Health Madisonville Hires New Physical…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Kristy Quinn
November 26, 2014 1111

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Nov. 26, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
November 26, 2014 1076

Sweet Staple of Thanksgiving

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 26, 2014 1004

Muhlenberg Set for Small Business Saturday Savings

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 26, 2014 832

Citizen Sounds Off About Library

in Hopkins News by Scott Rogers
November 26, 2014 787

High School Wrestling Teams Returning to…

in General Sports For All Sites by Steve LeMaster
November 26, 2014 783

Madisonville Man Charged with Selling Cocaine

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Lt. William W. Poe
November 26, 2014 742

UK Volleyball Finalizes 2015 Class with Watson

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
November 26, 2014 644

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - November 26, 2014

in Video by Crime Stoppers

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss