Mount Hood is a prominent backdrop to Portland, Oregon. It’s also an active volcano. It is eerily silent but it won’t always stay that way. Someday it will erupt again. And when it does it could unleash mudflows like those from Colombia’s Nevado del Ruiz volcano in 1985. 21,000 people died in the dead of night in the town of Armero.
And yet Mount Hood is hardly monitored at all. If scientists miss the early warning signs of an eruption, they might not know it is going to explode until it’s too late. To avoid such a tragedy three seismometers to measure earthquakes, three GPS instruments to chart underground deformation and one instrument to monitor gas emissions need to be placed at four different locations on the mountain immediately.
The United States has 161 active volcanoes. Six of the most dangerous are not adequately monitored. In contrast, Japan, Iceland and Chile have scientific instruments on all their high-threat volcanoes. There is no question better monitoring could save lives. Volcanoes don’t usually erupt without warning. If scientists monitor the signals they will likely be able to forecast when a volcanic eruption will take place.
It is vital to be able to detect and correctly interpret warning signs quickly, to give people as much time as possible to prepare. Near Mount Rainier in Washington 80,000 people are in the path of disaster. If a volcano in California threw enough ash into the air it could halt air traffic for days or even weeks and cost billions of dollars.
Why do we not have warning signs in place for these volcanoes? Most volcanoes are in wilderness areas where the use of land is tightly restricted. Installing monitoring sites upsets some environmentalists.
What about the warning system in your life? Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Do you have warning signs to tell you if something is wrong in your life? If you are getting dangerously close to wrecking it?
How are you monitoring your life? The ripple effects of failures often continue for years. While healing and restoration are possible through the grace of God, the cost of failure is high for everyone.
There should be warning signs in your life that indicate you’re heading down a dangerous path. If those warnings signs are heeded, they will save you, your family, and your community a world of hurt.
About Rick McDaniel
Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through www.highimpactchurch.tv. McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of six books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.
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New Devotional from Pastor Rick McDaniel: Vida De Alto Impacto con Rick McDaniel
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