How to fortify your life to avoid a catastrophic failure.
Around 2950-2750 B.C, the ancient Egyptians built the first known dam. The reason for constructing this dam was to divert the water flow to help irrigate the crops. Today, dams play a significant role in controlling flooding, generating power, providing water, and assisting irrigation. However, dams also pose significant threats. Despite the advancement in engineering and construction, a no-risk guarantee is not possible, and accidents or failures may occur.
Such an outcome occurred on June 5, 1976, when the Teton Dam in eastern Idaho failed. Unfortunately, the catastrophic failure resulted in the deaths of eleven individuals, 16,000 livestock, and the federal government paying over $300 million in claims. What was interesting about this failure was how it occurred.
After the dam’s completion in November 1975, they started filling the reservoir at the standard rate of one foot per day. However, that year snows were heavy. To manage the estimated spring run-off, the project’s construction engineer requested permission to double the filling. At the same time, they monitored the groundwater for leaks. A month later, they noticed groundwater flowing a thousand times faster than initially anticipated, and the filling rate doubled to 4 feet a day.
Then, on June 3 and 4, 1976, crews discovered three small springs downstream. Not unusual, they continued to monitor the situation closely. However, just a day after, a muddy leak appeared, suggesting sediment was in the water, but again, not a cause for concern among the engineers.
Unfortunately, a couple of hours later, the dam’s downstream face developed a wet spot, which began to discharge water at 20 to 30 cubic feet per second. To help solve the problem, they sent crews with bulldozers to try and plug the leak. However, stopping the impending disaster was impossible as the small leak continued to expand.
Finally, around midday, the dam’s crest collapsed into the reservoir. A few minutes later, the remainder of the right-bank third of the main dam wall disintegrated. As a result, over 2,000,000 cubic feet per second of sediment-filled water came rushing down, filling the Teton River canyon.
This unfortunate event reminds me of how sometimes we take on more than we can manage. Although these things may be good and have a purpose, too much can lead to a catastrophic failure. Often, all it takes is a small crack or leak in our life that grows out of control.
For this reason, you should take an inventory of your life. Then, you need to prioritize what God wants you to do. The world will constantly push you to do more, have more, and be more. However, God graciously pulls you alongside Him to fortify areas in your life. Leading a life of prayer, studying His word, and applying it to your life is the only way to avoid a catastrophic failure.
Answer and Journal the Following
First pray for insight and understanding of God’s word. Then and most importantly, how to apply it.
1 Kings 20:13-22
13 Meanwhile a prophet came to Ahab king of Israel and announced, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
14 “But who will do this?” asked Ahab.
The prophet replied, “This is what the Lord says: ‘The junior officers under the provincial commanders will do it.’”
“And who will start the battle?” he asked.
The prophet answered, “You will.”
15 So Ahab summoned the 232 junior officers under the provincial commanders. Then he assembled the rest of the Israelites, 7,000 in all. 16 They set out at noon while Ben-Hadad and the 32 kings allied with him were in their tents getting drunk. 17 The junior officers under the provincial commanders went out first.
Now Ben-Hadad had dispatched scouts, who reported, “Men are advancing from Samaria.”
18 He said, “If they have come out for peace, take them alive; if they have come out for war, take them alive.”
19 The junior officers under the provincial commanders marched out of the city with the army behind them 20 and each one struck down his opponent. At that, the Arameans fled, with the Israelites in pursuit. But Ben-Hadad king of Aram escaped on horseback with some of his horsemen. 21 The king of Israel advanced and overpowered the horses and chariots and inflicted heavy losses on the Arameans.
22 Afterward, the prophet came to the king of Israel and said, “Strengthen your position and see what must be done, because next spring the king of Aram will attack you again.”
Contemplate and meditate on or memorize the passage. What is God saying to you?
How will you apply this to your life ?
How will you share this with others?