Damage Control

The missile launch site might as well have been an underground cache of invisible chemicals. Looking over the site from a few hundred yards back, you would have never guessed that there was a nuclear megaton warhead lurking just below the surface. And yet this nuclear, transcontinental missile was not only poised to launch, it was lying just outside the little town of Damascus, Arkansas with a dangerous explosion in the making. After an accidental leak in the second stage rocket fuel tank, a cloud of rocket fuel was edging dangerously close to the oxidizer, the mechanism for igniting the rocket, with its dangerous payload of chemicals. Despite the best efforts of the US Airforce response team, the oxidizer exploded, bursting the door of the missile launch and sending the missile rocket soaring into the sky. Once clear of the launch chamber the rocket itself exploded sending the nuclear warhead spinning into a field about a hundred feet away. Thankfully, its safety features prevented the bomb from detonating, but the military forces and eventually the world at large found out how nail-bitingly close Damascus and the outlying communities had come to getting blown up. The nuclear weapon was a wonder in its day, but the tiny room for error that its operators were working with was a real worry. The same wonders of technology that we often hail as huge achievements can also become real dangers. Sometimes our technological reach can exceed our safety measures. Human ambition can come at a price.

Proverbs 27:1 points out humanity’s limitations, especially when predicting future events when it says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” And Isaiah 55:9 compares God’s infinite thoughts to our humble understanding when it says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” When we realize that we are mere humans who need a Higher Sovereign rather than our own faulty works for protection, we can truly feel secure without falling into overambition.