Thursday, January 20, 2011
God and Geology
A coal mining company encountered some severe mining conditions in an area of their underground mine. The conditions were unsafe and costly to mine. The viability of the mine was threatened. A consulting geologist visited the mine, but he could not explain the cause of the geologic features or predict the location and prevalence of these features within the remaining mine reserve.
The company asked if I could help them. Prior to my visit to the mine, they sent me photos, maps, and drilling records of the area where they were encountering the problems. I examined this information, but my extensive geologic training and experience did not provide any answers. I put the geologic information aside and quietly prayed. I did not request anything from God. In accordance with Jesus's promise, "Know the truth and the truth will make you free", my prayers were an affirmation of the truth as I have learned it in the Bible and another book that helps me understand the Bible, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. I acknowledged that God created and governed all, that God is all-knowing. Because, as the Bible explains, man is the image and likeness of God, we can always have the information that is humanly needed by listening quietly and humbly to God.
As I sat quietly listening, an idea came. It was an idea you will never find in a geology text book. I had never heard of this idea before or since. God was the sole source of the idea. I looked again at the information the company had sent me and found that using this new idea, I could have predicted all the areas where they encountered problems. I then made a map predicting the boundaries of the area of bad mining conditions.
Later that week, I visited the mine and gave them my map and the explanation for their problems. They were skeptical at first - this was a new idea. However, when we went into the mine and visited the problem area, it was clear that the idea could be used to correctly delineate the area of severe mining conditions as well as predict where else on their property these conditions could be present. This explanation not only helped the company mine that area of their property, but allowed them to successfully expand their mine into adjacent areas.
Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science and the author of the book that I referred to earlier, understood how a knowledge of God could bring practical benefits to any aspect of our human experience. She wrote "A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms. It raises the thinker into his native air of insight and perspicacity."