It’s three AM on a Saturday morning. So, why am I blogging at such a wonderful hour? Because I was awakened by the whirring noise of machinery. That wouldn’t be unusual if I lived near a construction site or beside an industrial park, but I live on the top of a mountain, for crying out loud! So, what’s making that noise? The creation of the Marcellus Shale Pipeline.
For those of you who do not live in central PA, beneath our sleepy little area is a rock formation that has over a trillion cubic feet of gas trapped within it. The formation spreads all along the Appalachian mountain range which makes it valuable because of its nearness to the Atlantic Ocean. People in this area have dealt with gas companies all their lives, leased their land to them, and allowed them to explore; however, it wasn’t cost effective for them to pursue the tedious process of extracting the gas…until now.
So, after living in this peaceful country setting, enjoying the mountains and all their splendor – bragging that Steam Valley was one of the best kept secrets because of its beauty and easy accessibility (I live half a mile off of Route 15), that has all changed. Trucks run up and down little Route 184 nearly 24/7 – that’s quiet; across from my house is one of their headquarters, so there may be 20 pickup trucks parked in our church parking lot some mornings; and they now have a bank of lights that face our house, shining in our front windows as early as five o’clock in the morning rivaling the sunrise! Am I complaining? YES!
Injustice – a situation or action in which people are not treated fairly. I want to cry, “It’s not fair!” Am I getting any of the millions of dollars that are pouring into local pockets? No! Will my energy costs be lowered because of this pipeline? Probably not. Can I do anything about it? Absolutely not! (Except complain to you!!) That seems like injustice to me.
So, what is the lesson I need to learn from this, Lord? I have to admit, I’m not a very willing pupil this morning!
Are you ever in a situation that you have absolutely no control over? One of my favorite quotes is the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant to me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to the change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Yesterday, a fellow pastor and his wife from our area attended the funeral of his twelve year old grandson. That puts things into perspective! I’ll take my few sleepless nights and disturbed country solitude! If we do not accept what we cannot change – those obstacles that God has purposefully placed in our path – we will spend a whole lot of time fussing and fuming and changing nothing! May I spend my energies more wisely! God puts those problem boulders in our path so that we might stop and look up. I get this vivid picture of walking along a quiet pathway (have you noticed that I’m really in to QUIET? :)), and this huge boulder drops from the sky right in front of me. Woah! That will get your attention! What would we do? Would we complain and shake our fist at God saying something like, “Now why did you do that Lord? Why did you drop that thing right in my way?” Or perhaps, we could join Balaam of old and talk to the boulder! (Numbers 22)
God does everything for a purpose. I need to say that again. God does EVERYTHING for a purpose. GOD DOES everything for a purpose. God does everything for a PURPOSE. And that purpose is to change us into His image. He never tires or complains about our stupid stubborn ways, He just continues to teach us and love us! Oh, that the world would see a difference in my life – a changed life!
Ps 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.