How to Survive an Elephant Stampede


I recently purchased The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Extreme Edition. This handy little reference book tells you how to escape a charging rhino or giant octopus. It has chapters on how to survive if you're stranded on an iceberg and how to land a helicopter if the engine fails. You can bet I’ll be carrying this book around with me from now on - just in case. One of my favorite chapters is how to survive an elephant stampede. It recommends, “Do not try to outrun them. Elephants can run at a speed in excess of 25 mph.” Also, “Climb a tree” - “If you cannot climb the tree, stand behind it. Elephants will avoid large obstacles when running.” I’d rather hide behind the nearest mall, but I’d take a tree in a pinch. The book then says, “If you cannot find cover, lie down. Elephants typically avoid stepping on a prone human being, even while charging.” My question is: has anyone actually ever tried this? Has anyone ever proven this to be true?

The Bible says God‘s word proves true. It's been tested and tried and proven true by thousands.

This God--his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?” (2 Samuel 22:31-32).

David sang these words to the Lord “on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul” (2 Samuel 22:1). After fleeing for his life for months, living in the wilderness, hiding in caves, often narrowly escaping the sword, the word of the Lord proved true and God delivered David from his pursuers.

The Bible is full of examples of God’s word proving true after a long time. God spoke to Joseph when he was 17, but he was enslaved and imprisoned in Egypt until God’s word finally came to pass when he was 30. Abraham was 75 when God promised to make him a great nation but he didn’t see the beginnings of this nation until Isaac was born when Abraham was 100. Isaiah’s prophecies of a coming Messiah were finally fulfilled after 700 years. David was anointed to be king when he was a boy but he didn't begin to reign until he was 30. The Spirit revealed to Simeon he wouldn’t die before seeing Christ, and though he waited for many years, a day finally came when he saw Joseph and Mary bring the baby Jesus into the temple. The word of the Lord proved true.

The word of the Lord proved true for Israel: “Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” (Joshua 21:43-45)

Sometimes God’s word proves true immediately. Sometimes we must trust God for years. Which promises of God are you believing and waiting for? Keep trusting him, keep asking him to fulfill his word, keep thanking him. In time God will prove his word true. Not a single one of his promises will fail.

Posted by Mark Altrogge at 8:00 AM  


Hey, Mark! I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading this blog. I love the way you use humor to get your point across. (I always thought you were one of the funniest people I ever met!) And your posts are always so encouraging and practical - just like the subtitle of your blog says: "connecting God's truth with real life." Thanks for blogging. You're probably serving way more people than you're aware of.

PS Stephen's posts are always good, too. He seems to lean more to the serious/intellectual side, but I can tell that he's inherited some of your sense of humor. :)

Marge said...
November 8, 2007 at 12:51 PM  

"'Elephants typically avoid stepping on a prone human being, even while charging.' My question is: has anyone actually ever tried this? Has anyone ever proven this to be true?"

Yeah, I tried it once.

Other than being a little dusty it worked fairly well.

kerux said...
November 8, 2007 at 2:50 PM  

Hi Marge,

Thanks for your encouraging comment! Actually, Stephen is much smarter than I am, and he's really funny too. Especially when he and his brother David do their Pittsburgh accents.


Mark Altrogge said...
November 8, 2007 at 4:05 PM  

Hey Paul,

Glad to know you tried this once. Probably never know when you'll encounter elephants in Toronto.

The book did say that you should cover your face when you lie down, because elephants might try to bury you with dirt and leaves - I assume that's what they did to you.


Mark Altrogge said...
November 8, 2007 at 4:07 PM  

I should have read the book... that explains EVERYTHING!

kerux said...
November 8, 2007 at 4:08 PM  

But you have such incredible natural instincts, Paul. You probably don't need the book.

Mark Altrogge said...
November 8, 2007 at 11:45 PM  

True, Brother Mark, true. My ninja-like reflexes along with my near superhuman strength carry me through most obstacles like this. Such as the time I was attacked by that rabid ferret. If it wasn't for my quick, MacGyver-like thinking... along with a little duct tape and orange juice... I doubt I would have gotten out of the backyard alive.
Still, I don't want to act like I have ALL the answers.

kerux said...
November 9, 2007 at 5:24 PM  

Paul, I hope you're with me next time I'm exposed to nuclear fallout or attacked by a warthog, because I know you'll know what to do.

Mark Altrogge said...
November 10, 2007 at 11:20 PM  

Nuclear fallout is easy... but those warthogs... man, I have not had a lot of success with them. Unless I have a cheese grater.

kerux said...
November 12, 2007 at 11:18 AM  

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