It’s a disturbing trend.
Cherished natural monuments have been toppling at an alarming rate. Most recent has been the fall of the famous “Pioneer Cabin Tree,” a “drive thru” sequoia in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This 2,100-year-old monster crashed under its own weight during a storm last month (February 2017).
In the previous decade New Hampshire’s Old Man of the Mountain – a 40-ton granite outcropping that resembled a man’s face – crumbled to the base of the mountain in May 2003. It can still be found on the 2000 New Hampshire Quarter coin.
The Twelve Apostles on the southern coast of Australia in Victoria, were twelve 160-foot limestone formations which were formed by erosion. That same process is destroying them. The first fell in 2005. Only eight remain standing.
On August 8, 2008, the twelfth largest natural arch among the 2,000 in Arches National Park – the Wall Arch – fell to its demise.
In November 2005 the spindly spire atop the “fist” of El Dedo de Dios (The Finger of God) on the Spanish coast came crashing down. All that’s left is “the fist.”
Missoula Montana’s Eye of the Needle was destroyed in 1997. But vandalism was the cause, not natural processes.
And anyone who’s ever read about the Oregon Trail cannot forget one of its most famous landmarks, Chimney Rock. This feature also appears on our coins – the 2006 Nebraska Quarter. Yet over the last century or so, this sandstone spire has lost more than 30 feet off its top.
Hundreds of other examples can be added to this list. Natural wonders around the world are crumbling, succumbing to the relentless pounding of wind and water – leaving us with a sense of urgency to see them while we can, before they are lost forever.
Of course, in every home there are examples of disturbing change. Priceless moments with our children are being ignored and neglected. Opportunities for quality time with our family are being irretrievably lost. Shouldn’t this give us a sense of urgency to spend time with our spouses and children while we can still capture precious moments in time with them?
Most tragic of all is the eroding of childhood faith within us, faith that could once move mountains and see life as a treasure of possibilities. But as the forces of nature erode away the earth’s wonders, we have allowed our love of comfort and our cowardly cynicism to eat away the precious faith within. In doing so we’ve impaired our ability to reach out to the living and loving God. Our eyes have become blinded and our hearts dull and insensitive. More and more attributes of the living are atrophying away within us, until all that is left is the hollow exoskeleton of a human being.
Revisit that faith while you can. Practice those disciplines which can nurture it back to life – reading Scripture and hearing it preached, prayer, and fellowshipping with other believers. Turn to God and ask Him to breathe new life into your tired heart. In the words of Isaiah the prophet, “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Amen.
(Information from: http://mentalfloss.com/article/22690/quick-10-nine-fallen-natural-landmarks-and-one-thats-stumbling; https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/09/us/pioneer-cabin-tree-sequoia.html?_r=0)