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By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted May 22, 2014

RELIGION – I am starting to get a little bit of a new phobia. I have publically chronicled my issues with hummingbirds. I have largely overcome this due to being picked on by small children at church. But now my concern has turned to spontaneous sinkholes. A few months back a Corvette museum in Kentucky lost a million bucks in cars that were just sucked away! Just this week at Austin Peay University they had a massive 40ft sinkhole open up in their end zone.

They have become increasingly common in areas that are experiencing a boom in massive and commercial construction, such as in the state of Florida. I cannot imagine just going along and WHAM, you get sucked under the ground!

The prevailing explanation of sinkholes appears to be due to massive developments that cause an increase in the water consumption and take away from the underground water tables. In short, developers are pumping more water out of the ground for new projects or for agricultural use than can be replenished. In Florida particularly the acid in the water itself is what causes the limestone under much of Florida to dissipate and create the holes, but the water also acts as a support. So when underground streams dry up, the surface soil begins to sink to fill in the void.

My concern is not just being sucked up by an angry Earth, but for many people who are heading towards a sinkhole in their life.  George MacDonald says this sinkhole is a picture of what is happening in many Christian lives. In his book “Ordering Your Private World” he notes that many Christians are so busy with their outer world (work, sports, children, church meetings etc.), that they neglect their inner world (their minds and hearts). This eventually leads to a sinkhole-like collapse. "More programs, more meetings, more learning experiences, more relationships, more busyness," he says, "until it all becomes so heavy at the surface of life that the whole thing trembles on the verge of a collapse. Fatigue, disillusionment, failure, defeat all become frightening possibilities. The neglected private world can no longer hold the weight." p. 16

MacDonald continues to write that “Part of the reason for this lies in the more obvious and demanding nature of our public or outer worlds. "Our public worlds," MacDonald continues, "are filled with a seeming infinity of demands on our time, our loyalties, our money and our energies. And because these public worlds of ours are so visible, so real, we have to struggle to ignore all their seduction and demands. They scream for our attention and action" (pp. 14-15).  The result is that "our private world is often cheated, neglected because it does not shout so loudly" (p. 15). Eventually, MacDonald explains, the pressure of those activities, combined with the inner void of our lives, produces a sinkhole in our lives.

Who gets hurt when a sinkhole occurs? The people that are closest to it. Think about your life. Are your working to take care of what matters most in your life, your heart and your walk with God? Proverbs 4:23 puts it this way: "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Jesus said something similar when he spoke of our words, thoughts and desires coming from our heart Luke 6:45, Mark 7:20-23.
Many of you think you are so busy you have no time to pray and read a little Bible each day. Many of you feel that Sunday morning is the only time you have to rest and sleep in, so you skip church. You neglect the habits that build you up to face your week ahead and so you rob your time with God to add more activity in your life. These activities maybe good things, but they are wearing your down
So are you headed for a sinkhole? The faster you say you are not may mean a greater probability that you are. Who will be hurt if your collapse? Those closest to you will be hurt the most.  So how then are your building yourself up so that you can handle the demands of life? I pray each of you follow Acts 20:32 “And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up…”

On the lookout for sinkholes, Pastor Phillip 

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