I just saw a really cool documentary on the science behind earthquakes and why they happen. I’ve searched but been unable to locate it again so I’ll just describe one part that has inspired the thinking below.
What they are trying to do is to demonstrate why earthquakes happen and why they are so hard to predict. The crust is plates on a liquid mantle, and that mantle puts pressure to move those plates in certain directions. However, the mass of the plates (in the trillions of tons) against each other creates incredible friction. So the pressure from the mantle builds until it finally overcomes the friction, and the result is explosive movement until friction takes over again.
The demonstration involved a heavy block to represent a plate resting on a solid, rough surface to represent another plate. The block is connected to rubber bands that represent the mantle’s fluidity to a chain that is connected to a crank so the pressure can be consistent and constant. When the crank is turned, the block doesn’t immediately move until it reaches a point where it lurches forward. If it only moves a small amount, it represents a small earthquake, but if it moves a large amount, it represents a bigger earthquake. As the crank is continued to be turned, the block moves forward in jerks and stutters, some big and some small. However, when they repeat the exercise turning the crank at the same speed, it moves at different times and distances than the first time. The first attempt might have 4 small earthquakes and 2 big ones and the second might have 2 small earthquakes and 3 big ones, and they come at different points.
The two issues that create earthquakes are pressure and friction. Pressure is being exerted on the plates to move them, and there is intense friction to keep those plates where they are. Eventually, the pressure overcomes the friction, and the plate jerks forward as the pressure is released until friction takes over and stops it again.
That seems to be a perfect analogy for explosive change. The pressure to change is in the background increasing and increasing. However, there are many things holding you back from changing, but eventually, that pressure will break through.
[quote]The question I have is what is the pressure that’s building in your life? It could be some dream you have, a temptation, your circumstances, your friends, your spouse, your parents, or whatever. It may very well be negative pressure that’s going to send you down a wrong path. If you don’t pay attention to the pressure an earthquake will come and be very self-destructive.
At the same time, it is heartening to realize that there is positive pressure that has been building, too. It is in our own lives where Jesus is getting us closer to the point where we are going to make a big change toward Him. There may be something you can’t dream about happening right now that God is building pressure in the background to guide you to do, and after the earthquake hits, it will be a different world for you.
In my own life, I can see how the pressure of my last year in Springfield, my time in Denver, and the 2.5 years in Nevada was building to the point where a big earthquake came, and God pulled me closer to him in a moment. I never thought an earthquake was coming at any point, but I should have realized that at some point, something was going to break loose. That’s just the way pressure works.