The Flood of Neglect


In 1992, Chicago was every bit as busy as it is today. In a growing and thriving city like this, often times repair projects get put on the back burner. The problem started when the city approved the replacement of support pillars on the Kinzie Street Bridge. Unknown to the workers, there was an old abandoned transport tunnel underneath the river. When they drilled down to anchor the bridge pillars, they didn’t break into the tunnel, but it was close enough that it disrupted the soil and the river slowly started to encroach on the tunnel.

The problem sat there for weeks without anyone knowing this disaster was brewing. Finally, a maintenance worker who happened to be down in the tunnel noticed a leak. He took a video and sent it to the city. The city didn’t think it was urgent and put the project up for companies to bid on. Before the fix could actually be made, the water punctured and gushed into the tunnel. By the time emergency workers were able to plug the hole, it grew to 20 feet wide and around 250,000 gallons had poured through. Businesses were destroyed and great damage was done to the city. The fix would have cost around $50,000 if it had been done immediately. After the disaster was finally over, it cost the city an estimated $1.95 billion.

What makes the entire story frustrating is the fact that the city maps very clearly show the tunnel systems. This should have been taken into account by everyone. In the lawsuits that followed, it was found that the city knew the tunnel was leaking and had not been properly maintained. Even worse, the original tunnel had flood doors that were installed to contain such an emergency. Those doors had been removed.

No matter where it occurs, neglect often leads to some very ugly situations. Worst of all is when spiritual lives go into disrepair. Sure, we get busy and life happens. But let’s make no mistake, if we don’t repair the damage sin does, often slowly, it will be disastrous if it is able to break free and flood into our lives.

This is exactly what happened to David. If not before, sin began leaking into his life during that lustful look at Bathsheba. Before long, sin was gushing into his life through adultery and even having Uriah murdered (2 Samuel 11).

In a very real sense, this can happen to us if we neglect to fix the sin in our lives. Even before he had murdered Able, God tried to give some great advice to Cain. “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.’”

As we know, Cain ignored God’s advice. He chose to continue to neglect his spiritual condition. Like David, sin came flooding into Cain’s life as well. The question is, will we ignore God’s advice also? Sin might be crouching outside our door too. It will flood into our lives if we aren’t careful. Will we master it, or will it master us? The choice is up to us.

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