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Posted March 21, 2014 | comments Leave a comment

George Bowers Sr. : Filling sinkholes and creating firm foundations

By George Bowers Sr.

As residents of the Shenandoah Valley, we are very familiar with sinkholes. Many fields and woodlands in our area are pockmarked by these depressions in the ground and indicate that there may be caves nearby. In some cases, the earth actually opens up at the bottom of these sinkholes to create an entry to a cave beneath.

Rainwater and runoff slowly dissolve the limestone, and as it does so the rock often becomes too thin and weak to support the overlying soil. As a result, the ground begins to sink or even collapse suddenly, causing these unique features. In other instances, the land gradually sinks as the groundwater is pumped from beneath it for our use. Occasionally, roads or even houses are damaged as the earth begins to give way to yawning caverns. The National Corvette Museum in Kentucky recently lost eight priceless sports cars to an unexpected sinkhole collapse beneath its showroom floor.

Such events remind us of the importance of firm foundations. Whenever a building is constructed on potentially unstable ground or when once solid ground has its supporting material removed, it's only a matter of time until damage and possible disaster occurs.

The foundations of our nation are no different. Having been founded on the stability and enduring truth of the Judeo-Christian ethic and having been supported over the years by consistent adherence to lasting Biblical standards, our society has weathered financial crises, political upheavals, and two world wars, all of which threatened to shake our nation to rubble. But truth is solid and permanent. It can support the weight of a massive nation like our own even with the onslaught of many challenges.

Sadly, that underlying support structure has been severely eroded by so many caustic influences from media to court rulings that our society is now sagging under our own weight.

The institution of the family is collapsing and our economy continues to struggle. Suicide now kills more of our military personnel than combat, and substance abuse of many types is destroying the lives of millions of our young and middle aged. Crazed shooters without foundational truth terrorize our shopping malls, theatres and even our schools.

Human beings who are worth infinitely more than any Corvette are being swallowed by the collapsing culture, and sometimes we find our own lives caving in as well.

What can be done to prevent such damage? When sinkholes threaten roadways, engineers develop strategies to stop further erosion and to replace the rock and earth that have disappeared. Sometimes many dump truck loads of large stones are brought into shore up damaged areas. Only then can any kind of normal activity resume.

My prayer is that each of us will fill our lives and those of our children with massive doses of the rock solid truth from God's word and that we will work and pray to infuse unshakable godly principles into our culture at every opportunity.

Let's initiate Christ-centered conversations with our neighbors and demand godly leadership from those we elect. Let us introduce others to Jesus and stand up for truth ourselves. Let's be sure our children know the truth and let's model it for them. And let's reach out with Christian love to help all those who are hurt by the collapsing social landscape. We can't afford to continue to lose invaluable individuals to the sinkholes of our society. Blessings, George.

George Bowers Sr. is the pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of four books, including his latest book of poetry, "Wit and Wisdom of the Woods." He can be reached at gabowers@shentel.net.

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