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It Seemed So Insignificant

Just a few rain drops.  Just one storm.  Just for a moment, I took my eyes off the road.  Just one spark ignited the camping area.  How often have we heard and now have come to realize that life’s sorrows, disasters, and tragedies happen in “one” very brief moment.  But, that one moment in time can change a lifetime.  Oklahoma is no stranger to natural as well as manmade disasters.  We watch the storms for funnel clouds that may form.  We have seen rain fall for days to the point that flooding can be catastrophic.  Ice storms have left us without electricity for long periods of time.  Deep snow falls can paralyze our cities for days.  And, we have seen the horror of something like the Murrah Building bombing that stunned our state for a very long time.

No matter how hard we try, we are never exempt from that “one” event that can bring great sorrow.  The same is true with sin.  It is so well disguised that sin does not appear to be destructive.  However, once that Serpent strikes, the venom is deadly.  There is within all of us the proclivity for sinning.  And, no matter how much we profess that we are “strong” and “well grounded in Jesus and His Word”, it only takes “one” area of our lives that is not fully under the control of the Master, and one’s entire life and reputation can be ruined.

There is little way to adequately insure that every dam will be constructed to withstand that once in a century storm that brings once in a century peak water levels. This fact was brought out rather vividly when a nearby earthen dam began to fail and the local media began to pay attention to the possibility of a disastrous flood. Their coverage included press interviews with Department of Natural Resources engineers and representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers. 

Since many of these dams were built by the army in the course of the last fifty to sixty years, attention was focused in particular on what the army engineers had to say. In the weeks that followed and the rain continued to fall, one interview after another appeared in the local media. Most focused on the need for careful observation and the even more pressing need to be prepared if the dam was breached. Since the object of their advice was not to panic anyone but to simply prepare them for what might happen, one engineer after another appraised the situation cautiously, always underscoring that the dam had been constructed with heavy rains and flooding in mind.

Then, one day, I heard an interview on a local radio station that gave me pause. It was an interview with a retired corps engineer who had been involved in the construction of the dam in the first place. He said something very interesting and very insightful. When asked about the method by which the dam had been constructed and how integral he felt that the dam was then and would be now, he replied. “It was built to last but there is no telling where there might be just that one stone, that one stone, out of place within its mass that had been misplaced by but an inch. In that case, the whole system might be resting on one stone destined to move ever so slightly when a certain pressure is reached. That movement, however slight, might cause a breach within seconds.”  (Copied).