Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Escape from the Flooding Mine

"What a jerk," thought Mike as he headed steadily westward along the mine's tunnel, stomping angrily in the rising floodwaters.

Mike felt insulted. He had been traveling westward at a good clip, in the company of a sizable crew of his fellow miners. They were covered with various patches of dust, and the light from their helmets created an ever-shifting pattern of shadows on the tunnel wall.

The cause of Mike's hurt feelings was the message on a shirt of a single minor headed eastbound. "Go East," screamed the shirt in bright yellow letters on a black background, "Westward Escape Route Not Open."

What was worse, on the back of the shirt - this time in neon orange - the shirt announced that the Eastern Escape Route was the way designed by the engineer of the mine, and that the Western Escape Route was simply wishful thinking that had gained group appeal.

"Who does this guy think he is?" thought Mike. "His shirt screams out hatred for me and my friends." Even as Mike thought this, though, he realized that it wasn't quite fair: the shirt was about a position, not a person.

"Well," continued Mike's thoughts, "if not hatred for me, hatred for everything I and my group of miners stand for: all of our hopes of escape and all of the effort we have put into making sure each other continue successfully on our Western path."

What aggravated Mike even more was that the miner hadn't been content to let Mike's group pass in peace and quiet. Instead, the lone miner had shouted out that he had found a source of knowledge - a map - that showed the one true path of escape. The miner had insisted that all the other paths, including the Western path led only to doom and drowning.

Mike tried to point out the size of his group, but the man just kept pointing to the map. Mike had even tried pointing out how the map supported the Western path, but the man had insisted that he knew better, and that in fact - when properly read - the map indicated that the Eastern path was better - in fact was the only way.

Eventually, the lone miner continued on his way through the rising floodwaters to the East, while the group of miners with Mike at their lead continued to the West. "Stupid Anti-Westerner," Mike complained to his colleagues, and they all assented, joking about the fact that the lone miner cut a sad sight trudging in such a lonely manner and trusting in some map.

One may have already guessed how things turned out. There was but one survivor that day: the man who followed the map provided by the engineer of the mine. It was by this revelation of the design of the mine that the man was able to get to safety. It was not hatred of his fellow miners, but love of them, that motivated that miner's shirt and his message to them. But alas, they called him names, questioned his motives, and refused to listen. In the end, they perished.

(inspiration for this allegory)

-TurretinFan

2 comments:

natamllc said...

This is so true as well, this story of the miners.

I have several friends who fly planes and helicopters.

They have said that sometimes when flying "feelings" and even a "visual" does not keep you on balance and safe from a crash.

Once, I hired one of these friends to fly some friends to a beach several hours drive away and just about twenty minutes by air from where we left from one sunny morning. I wanted to bless a friend who was going to the mission fields and maybe never to return to this area. He was going as a service to the Lord and this day trip to a nice resort was a way of blessing him before he went.

Everything was fine that morning. We all arrived at the airstrip and boarded the small single engine plane. We were fueled up and off we went landing about twenty minutes later south of where we all lived. It was sunny and clear, brisk and fresh and we planned for a long day including lunch on the beach with some sunbathing and listening to the ocean waves crash on the shore!

About two p.m. our wonderful time was cut short by this loud yelling noise, "Mike!" "Mike!!". Turning towards the sounds we saw our pilot running towards us and waving and yelling out my name. Sensing something was amiss on this bright clear sunny afternoon I got up and went towards the pilot who came up quickly insisting that we pack it up and get back to the plane, that we needed to leave by air NOW or we would be socked in until better weather came along! Please hurry he pleaded with me!

"Huh", I asked. ""No time for a Q and A, just come on and let's get going or I am flying out of here without you!" Larry said.

Ok, quickly packed up, off we went, running down the beach towards the plane. We boarded and off we went, up and around and round we went to gain elevation high enough to fly north and east over the hills. I failed to notice that when we landed that morning we dropped over a range and landed down at sea level. The only way back was to climb up by going in circles several times to gain the right altitude over this range. As we went in circles after taking off I saw out in the distance a weather front moving across the ocean out of the northwest that wasn't visible on the beach, yet.

We were south and west and needed to fly north and east back to the airstrip we left from that morning. As we got moving, flying as fast as possible, the pilot said in passing, "you know, I am visual certified and not instrument flight certified yet!"

"Huh"? I grunted?

"Yes, if we get caught in this weather I won't know where I am or where I am going because I used the highway as my main visual flight and certain other landmarks so I would know how to get back to the airstrip in the late afternoon! And boy, I hope we make it back before the weather gets there!!!"

"Yikes" I thought to myself as I began to pray in earnest to My God who controls the waves of the sea and the weather each and every day! :)

Ben Douglass said...

You're right on one count at least. God is an engineer.