A spelunker is one who makes a hobby out of exploring and studying caves. Exploring caves is an enticing adventure. We are not spelunkers but we have visited caves with stalagmites and stalactites, huge caverns and side passages, underground lakes and marvelous formations. We’ve experienced the utter blackness of lights out. It can be exciting but only if you are sure of the way out. Recent news coverage of a coach and 12 teens from a soccer team lost in a cave system in Thailand illustrates that. What a frightening experience it must have been to be trapped in a place like that. Black darkness, hunger, thirst, despair, thoughts of impending death and who knows what else, must have been terrifying. What a huge relief to know that they were found even though rescue is still a very difficult task.
Consider the world’s largest cave system. Early guide Stephen Bishop called these caves a “grand, gloomy and peculiar place”. Its vast chambers and complex labyrinths have earned its name – Mammoth. Since the 1972 unification of Mammoth Cave with the even-longer system under Flint Ridge to the north, the official name of the system has been the Mammoth-Flint Ridge Cave System of south central Kentucky. This is the world’s longest known cave system, with more than 400 miles explored so far. It is nearly twice as long as the second-longest cave system, Mexico’s Sac Actun underwater cave.
What would it feel like to be lost in a system like that? Undoubtedly some people feel as though their whole life is that way. They feel imprisoned by circumstances, dysfunctional relationships, overpowering addictions and lack of meaning or significance in life. This is not the way life is supposed to be. After being found, that the coach and those 12 teens would certainly not declare, “We know the way out. We don’t need help.”? We also need a saviour and a guide. Was it Augustine who concluded that we all have a huge ‘hole’ in our life that only God can fill? People try to stuff it full with fun and games (pleasure), money and things (possessions), influence and control (power) and/or recognition and achievement (prestige). We all need a measure of each one of these but if even one of them is the priority in life we have enthroned a false god. Jesus stated, “I am the way.” He didn’t just claim to know the way to an abundant life, He said, “I am the Way”! I realize that many would think of Him as a fairy-tale legend, a deranged lunatic or an outright liar, but I believe He is exactly what He claimed. He can rescue us out of the dark cave and into amazing light!
It’s bright ahead on the sunny side,