In the East, where the dessert meets a river-valley or oasis, the sand is in a continual state of drift from the wind. This is the cause for barrenness in such portions of the desert that join themselves to fertile land. Simply set down a large rock on the sand, and see what a difference its presence makes. After a few showers, to the leeward side of the stone some blades of grass will spring up; you have the beginnings of a garden!
The potential for this life is the product of the stone; but how? Simply by arresting the drift.
This life is full of wind; information overload, busy schedules, and winds of doctrine. All of these blow in my life and if I do not protect against them, they will cause a drift that will choke out any fruit that I may be producing. I need some immovable stones to arrest the drift.
My pastor and other spiritual leadership arrests the drift of misguided ambition and complacency.
My friends and family arrests the drift of burnout and loneliness.
The Word of God arrests the drift of false doctrine and the enemy’s lies.
Without these and other rocks in my life, the winds would blow and the sands would bury me in the cares of this world and the weakness of my flesh.
Thank God for arresting the drift!
What stones do you have in your life to arrest the drift? Most of them have to be put there intentionally.
This month’s issue of Wired Magazine includes an interesting article about a little town in Oklahoma called Picher. The article is titled Welcome to Armageddon, USA. It tells the incredible story of a once thriving city; a city that died because of its hollow foundation.
“Picher sprang up as a 20th-century boomtown – the “buckle” of the mining belt that ran through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. The earth underneath it produced most of the lead for US bullets in World Wars I and II. The population peaked at 14,000 in 1926. But when the lode ran dry in 1970, the mining companies moved out.
One-third of all houses in Picher are undermined by massive voids. Sinkholes are a major problem; the city is literally swallowing itself. “The water pumps were shut off when the mines closed; their subterranean chambers refilled with groundwater and leaked acid into nearby Tar Creek, threatening the town’s drinking water. Kids started coming home from swimming in ponds near the mines complaining of what they thought were sunburns, never realizing that the pools were full of caustic chemicals.”
The police department has disbanded. The schools have closed. The government has dissolved. Picher is a dead city. Very few people still live in Picher, and they are considered radicals. One of these radicals, John Garner, says that he will continue to live in Picher and keep the town alive. All of this despite the dangerous levels of poison in the air and water and the dangers of looters who come to disrupt the peace. But even Garner recognizes the biggest problem is that “there is no next generation…looking to carry on the fight.”
As I read this story, I thought of the spiritual implications of mining our foundation. If we do, we will find ourselves in the same situation as Picher, OK. We will be full of sinkholes. People will leave by hundreds and the thousands. Our children will be poisoned. And ultimately, we will find ourselves fighting for something that has no chance to live because there will be no next generation looking to carry on the fight.