Have you ever had a thought, or an idea that was slow to develop? What about a concept that you're trying to learn? My moments usually come when I am trying to explain something that I
have in my head but don't know how to put the words out there to voice it. This is what happened while recording this weeks podcast episode. I had read an article previously that day that just stuck with me. It was one of those articles that, at first, I thought couldn't be true. But upon reading the article I found that it WAS true, and I learned a few things about our country's history, the importance of safety and checks, and molasses. The title of the article was "Remembering Boston's Deadly Molasses Flood, 100 Years Later" (Press, WNPR). Long story short, there was a four story tank holding 2.3 million gallons of molasses that burst, flooding a portion of Boston's busiest commercial areas. Can you imagine? There were so many aspects of this story that intrigued and baffled me, and it was like molasses trying to gather all of these thoughts together.
Everybody knows the phrase "slower than molasses". I couldn't help but repeat this over and over in my mind and wonder why so many people and livestock were killed and seriously injured by molasses. Wouldn't they be able to see it coming? Shouldn't there be plenty of time to move out of the way? How did such a massive tank burst in the first place? But as I read on, I found my answers. The weight of the wave of molasses pouring out of the tank took out the supports of the elevated train, as well as many other structures in its path. People trying to wade through it became stuck. In 1919, there were no regulations placed on, well, anything. There were no rules to tell them that the metal used wouldn't hold the weight inside of it or that welding the seams would make it stronger and prevent more leaks than if it were simply riveted together. There were no building safety inspectors that would make sure a building was structurally sound. The fear of stairs that I have, in and of itself, is causing me to praise God that I was born in a time after all of these regulations were put in place. Because along with regulations, we now have people in place to enforce those regulations on companies. Hallelujah. I can get on the escalator at the stadium and know that my fears of it collapsing right as I hit the Lexus level are mostly irrational ones.
Here was my molasses moment. I slowly began to realize that while our world has these regulations that have been put in place for our safety, we fail to put regulations in place for ourselves. Even as Christians, who are called to hold one another accountable, we brush off that sweet woman that tries to confront us with a word from the Lord. We get angry with a sister in Christ who sees us sliding and falling down that muddy hill and tries to warn us. Instead we put on a good church face. We make sure that we appear to be holding everything that life is filling us with, and holding it well. We want others to believe that what is being put into our tank is what's supposed to be in there; that it's growing us spiritually and edifying us in the body of Christ; that it's helping us pour into our families and friends, encouraging them in their lives and walks. We want everyone to believe that our tank is strong and whole. But, real talk. What deposits are being made into our tanks, and have we built them to withstand what life throws at us? Are we depositing a romance novel, or movies, that will skew our view of our relationship with our spouse (or a future spouse)? Are we depositing chocolate and wine (or fill in your blank here) at the end of a hard day but exceeding that line between moderation and excess? Are we depositing lies from the enemy or the truth of God's word? At some point, our deposits will either overflow or burst our tank and spill out into our lives. Are those deposits going to cause destruction? Or will they overflow of God's irrevocable love?
Let's be real with one another. Let's stop putting on the church face and putting our best foot forward. Let's help each other walk through this thing called life. Don't rebuke a friend who calls out something to you, if there is truth in what he or she is saying. Let them help you instead. Seek out wise counsel for that one thing that you just can't seem to overcome rather than keeping it hidden in the dark. Stop judging others around you and start calling out the gold that you see God mining in their lives. Cast out any jealousy because you know that He's mining gold in your life as well. Today I pray Romans 15:13 over all of us. "May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may abound in hope. (ESV)" Let's allow God to fill our tanks so that when they burst at the seams they send forth a tidal wave of hope and not a slow destruction.
Join us for this week's podcast ,"Slow as Molasses", as Amanda and I discuss accountability and being real. You can find us on any podcast platform, or on our website at www.thesendhelppodcast.com/podcast.
Remembering Boston's Deadly Molasses Flood, 100 Years Later. Julia Press WNPR, 2019.