Concern or Misplaced Emphasis

By A. C. Grider

On a recent Sunday night my wife and I had occasion to drive to Louisville after services. As we drove past Bernheim Forest our attention was attracted to some helicopters circling overhead with bright spot lights playing on the ground below. As we drew nearer, we were startled by seeing many cars parked along the edge of the highway and three fire engines approaching with lights flashing and sirens screaming. It was apparent that something was wrong.

We learned that a seven year old boy had wandered away from other members of his family and was lost in the dense underbrush or woods. The search was on. Hundreds of people gathered and searched. Several officials were on hand to help. Service men were pressed into service. Friends, members of the family, and many who were strangers to each other all joined in to find this young lad. Was that too much interest to manifest? Of course not! Here was a young boy, a human being, lost in the woods and it was damp and dark and cold. Less interest would have been too little!!!

The search continued all night long. The next day the search went on. They were determined to find that boy and save him if at all possible. At two oclock on Monday afternoon – twenty five hours after he became lost – he was found and sound except for some scratches and bruises picked up during his ordeal in the forest.

But you know, this happened several years after, but not too far from where another terrific effort was put forth in behalf of one who needed some assistance. I am speaking of Floyd Collins who became lost and then found but fastened in Sand Stone cave. That was an exciting time. Floyd Collins went out to explore a cave and became lodged between some boulders and could not extricate himself. When he was located, the real battle began. The rescue parties labored hour after hour to remove the mighty barrier that held Floyd Collins prisoner in lonely Sand Stone Cave. They sought desperately to free Floyd Collins. Hundreds of people gathered to assist. Many came for excitement. Engineers from all across the country came to offer suggestions. Various pieces of equipment were brought to the scene and used in the all-out effort to free this man. Was that too much emphasis? Of course not. Here was a man who was trapped in the bowels of the earth with every moment holding the possibility of further caving and that he be literally buried alive. And so they worked and toiled night and day. It was impossible to remove the boulder that held Floyd Collins prisoner in the heart of the earth. While they labored and worked, Floyd Collins slipped into eternity while still fastened between large rocks in that cave.

No, there was not too much interest shown in that futile effort to set Floyd Collins free. A human life was at stake. The battle was lost; nor was too much interest shown in that successful search for that little boy. The battle was won. But I am thinking about interest (or lack of it) in another matter, another battle, another effort. All around us are men and women and boys and girls who are lost in the forest of sin, who are buried in the cave of iniquity. And what of the interest shown? Are we showing too much interest in rescuing them from these forests and caves? Perhaps we are showing far too little interest!!

We applaud the efforts (unsuccessful as they were) to free young Floyd Collins from that cave. We applaud the successful efforts to locate that lad and save him alive. But we deplore the lack of interest and the lack of effort on behalf of those in the wilderness of sin. Let us strive to show interest in material things, including physical lives, as in the cases cited. But let us be more concerned and show more interest in the souls of men and women who are lost and headed for a Devils hell. God is holding us responsible and has made us a searching party to find and rescue these people. Are we interested? Are we working? Will we be able to save several? Heaven help us to at least try.

September 28, 1972