It was the worst nuclear accident in history. On the night of April 26, 1986 the number four reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine exploded during a safety test. 5 People died immediately, 53 more within three months, and 237 diagnosed with acute radiation sickness. The 50,000 residents that populated the nearby city of Pripyat had to be evacuated never to return to their home. Global estimates suggest that over 1,000,000 people have been affected from radioactive fallout directly linked with Chernobyl.
An in depth study revealed that the primary cause of the disaster was in the design of the reactor itself. The Boron rods that are used to control the energy in the reactor Core were designed nearly 4.5ft too short. This created a dangerous void that under these particular circumstances created spike in energy leading to the explosion.
Like Chernobyl there is a reactor in each and every one of us as well. It’s called the human heart. It’s not flawed by design (for “…God saw every thing that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31). No, we are flawed by the choice of our first parents and the resulting entrance of sin and therefore, in a sense, by our own design. Like the reactor at Chernobyl there is a dangerous void within us that needs to be filled with Christ. Left alone and ignored we naturally fill it with a myriad of ingredients and things that leave us unsatisfied, unstable, and volatile. Only Christ can bring stability and satisfaction eliminating the threat to ourselves and those around us.
Still, the dangerous void within the reactor at Chernobyl was not entirely to be blamed as the operators themselves played a significant role. According to in-depth analysis of the incident there was an inadequate “culture of safety” at all levels. Poor decisions were made as each challenge presented itself during the test. Such it is with us! Surely when we are at the controls in the calm, and especially the crisis, disaster is always imminent. You see many of us have invited the lord into our hearts to fill the void, and what a tremendous difference it makes, but it is not enough! When crisis comes without Jesus at the controls we panic, fret, frenzy, and ultimately create an environment that pulls others down while we ourselves are consumed by the circumstances. Too many of us want Christ in the heart but not at the controls.
What really arrested my attention though was the action of the USSR. Immediately following the disaster all state run media was silenced to conceal its magnitude and in its place classical music soothed the airwaves. Can you see in your minds eye families playing at the local park listening to the music while death spread through the air? What about the newly weds on their way to the reception while the radiation silently entered their bodies? Imagine a mother sitting in her comfortable living room rubbing her belly where her unborn baby wiggles in her womb unaware of the immediate danger? Oh the sweet sound of classical music! It is a fitting illustration of our world today.
I like to think that our mission as Seventh Day Adventists is to let the world know that only Christ can fill and heal the dangerous void in the human heart. All must pray as David did, “Search me, oh God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thought: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me I the way everlasting” Psalm 139:24. Jesus must have full access to our hearts and the control panel of our lives that we may be a blessing to each other and not a curse. Finally it should be our mission to turn down the classical music and turn up the Three Angels Message of Revelation 14. Let’s pray that we are not found giving a smooth soothing sound, but rather repeating the call of the second Angel to “come out of her My people…” it’s time to evacuate!!!