The Golly Hole…and a Firm Foundation

Normally, this time of year we would be languishing in the heat and humidity, and praying for rain. This year, the heat’s not as bad, but the humidity is still there, and we have more rain than we could ask for. It’s sure making out lawns and vegetable gardens grow like crazy, but sometimes it also means it’s hard to find a time to mow the lawn or pick the veggies.

There’s also been plenty of flooding of late, as well as some other issues caused by the rain. I saw one of our local weather heroes post on social media this week some photos of a couple of cars that had collapsed into a huge sinkhole in a parking lot in my hometown of Midfield. Sinkholes are also quite common in Shelby County, including in our area.

I don’t know if you are aware, but one of the largest sinkholes in the United States is located right here in our own little metropolis of Calera. It is located in a rural area off of County Road 84 and Overhill Road, no more than a couple of miles as the crow flies from our church campus. It gained national attention in December, 1972 when the massive hole just opened up one evening, after the roof of an underground aquifer collapsed.

At the time, nearby residents heard the sound of the collapse, but didn’t know what it was until they discovered the huge hole in the ground while hunting in the woods days later. It is referred to as the “Golly Hole”—and it’s not hard to imagine where it got its name. It has been measured as more than 325 feet long, 300 feet wide and 120 feet deep.

Sinkholes are an interesting phenomenon.  They are basically a geological problem, and occur for various reasons when underground streams either dry up during a drought or wash out during times of heavy rain, causing the ground at the surface to lose its underlying support.  Mining can also lead to the same effect, especially when it produces voids beneath the surface of the ground and causes shifts in those underground streams.  Suddenly, and often unexpectedly, everything just caves in, leaving people with the frightening suspicion that nothing–not even the earth beneath their feet–is trustworthy.

There are a lot of people whose lives are like one of those sinkholes.  At one time or another, you feel like you’re on the verge of a sinkhole-like cave-in, just a moment away from a collapse that will threaten to sweep your entire world into a bottomless pit. 

The question is, do we have something “solid” beneath the surface of our lives that will provide a strong foundation whatever comes our way?  Or have we just spent most of our time and energy focusing only on that which is visible, while neglecting the subterranean matters of the heart?

It’s an easy temptation, especially in a world that focuses so much on how we project a surface-level image instead of deeper, “below-ground” issues.  But God calls us to do just the opposite, to make sure our heart is in order as our top priority. The challenge for us, as usual, is to go against the flow of our society and invest our lives more on internals than externals.  When we do, we find that the matters of the heart are truly the heart of the matter.

My prayer for you is that God will shore up your life from the inside out, so that you will never have a cave-in, no matter how much pressure you face.  When He fills your life, all the weight in the world cannot overwhelm you.  As the old hymn reminds us, He is the Solid Rock, and “all other ground is sinking sand.”

May He be your firm foundation this week. I look forward to seeing you Sunday.

–Pastor Ken