Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Little Slice Of Heaven

That's Magnolia Springs, Alabama according to Jamie Hinton who is the volunteer fire chief at the Fish River Marlow Fire Department. This little hamlet is in the Gulf coast and it is in great danger of being contaminated by the Deep Horizon oil catastrophe. The oil threatens to invade this quiet coastal town that is a throw back to the way things used to be and should be again. The spill seeks to gain entrance to this community via the mouth of the Magnolia River at Weeks Bay - threatening the 19 federally-protected species and marshland that exists there. It's a tiny town - maybe a thousand residents. It's not easy to get to - the mail arrives daily by boat. But to Chief Hinton it's home - "a little slice of heaven" in his words. So he's going to fight for it to protect it from the inevitable contamination that is on it's way. The federal government hardly knows this place exists. BP stopped by and put up a boom that the local residents warned would not last. It didn't. They haven't been back. These folks appear to be on their own. But the chief has a plan - he's going to line up spud barges and put booms on both sides of the barges as a barrier to keep the oil out. He even goes so far to say that if he has to he will "stand chest-deep in the waters of the bay, linked arm in arm with my neighbors" - if that’s what it takes to stop the encroaching oil from spoiling the sublime latticework of bogs and bayous that he calls home." That kind of love and dedication is admirable, humbling, and challenging. He recognizes the danger that is just outside his waters, and he has a plan to deal with it - to keep it out.

Anymore that would seem to be a foreign mindset in this 21st century version of America. I wonder just how many Americans are even remotely concerned about what's happening just off our shores. When it's all said and done, millions will be effected in a variety of devastating ways - physically, economically, topographically - you name it. I would that we all had this type of spirit. It is the type of spirit that made this country great, and the lack of it is turning us into nothing but a bunch of mindless consumers, bent on pursuing our own pleasures no matter the cost to anyone around us. We are so completely disconnected from the real world around us as we immerse ourselves in technology that diverts our attention away from much more important things. When I read this, I could see my grandpa doing something like this. I was certainly challenged to examine what my response would be to my community if impending doom was on my doorstep. To make it a little more significant, I was also challenged to consider whether or not I have this type of mindset toward sin. Sin seeks to creep its way into my life in a variety of ways. What barriers do I have in place to keep it out? How am I utilizing the resources God has given me to protect my mind, my heart, my home, my community, and my church from the blackness of sin? 

May I be the kind of citizen that this man is for this country - in this world. But even more important - may I be the kind of citizen that I need to be for my King and His Kingdom - being vigilant to not allow sin to creep in and making a blight of all that is beautiful. This is not my home. I am a sojourner on my way to a city whose builder and maker is God. But I want to be an exemplary tenant while here - helping to make it a little slice of heaven - until I experience the complete perfection of eternity with the Creator of this world and the one to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment