An interesting headline caught my eye, leading me to read the brief article that followed: Sinkhole Nearly Swallows Minister’s Car AP Posted: 2007-08-15
TYLER, Texas (AP) – Holy sinkhole! A minister says he prayed “Lord don’t take me yet” when his car nosed into a sinkhole on Wednesday. The Reverend Ralph Massey, pulled into a parking lot to turn around when the ground gave way, with no warning.
The car came to rest with most of its front section in the hole, and the back end and both rear wheels elevated.
Massey, who wasn’t injured, was able to scramble out of the hole, which ended up being about 12 feet wide and six feet deep.
Authorities are trying to determine what caused the sinkhole.
Information from Tyler Morning Telegraph: www.tylerpaper.com
If you come from a perspective, as do I, that God speaks to us in the course of our day to day lives, what might one hear God saying in an experience such as this? It is interesting that the encounter with the sink hole happened to Rev. Massey in the course of turning around in a parking lot. I wonder if he took the sudden shifting of the earth beneath his car as a sign that, like Jonah, he was headed in the wrong direction.
There is a story about a wise old rabbi, who would walk across the town square each morning on his way to pray at the the synagogue. One morning, a policeman who had evidently gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, decided to give the rabbi a hard time. “And where to you think you’re going?!” he asked beligerantly. The rabbi looked the policeman in the eyes and said, “I have no idea.” This incensed the policeman. “Every morning you walk through here on the way to the synagogue, and this morning you have the audacity to tell me you have no idea where you are going?! I’ll show you!” And he promptly took the rabbi by the arm and dragged him off to jail.
Sitting in his jail cell, the rabbi said, “See? I thought I was going to the synagogue, and here I ended up in jail. You just never know where you are going.”
The sudden appearance of sink holes would seem to confirm the ultimately mysterious nature of life. Maybe more than anything, God is saying, “Don’t fall asleep in life. You never know what you might encounter.” It calls to mind Jesus’ parable where the farmer with the big harvest is making plans to build bigger barns, when suddenly God says, “Fool, this night your soul is demanded of you, and whose will your wealth be?”
Wake us up, O God, and preferably without placing a sink hole in our path.