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July 1, 2021

A Pastoral Word. . .

Pastor Mark Adams

July 1, 2021
The Hibernia oil platform in the North Atlantic is 189 miles east-southeast of St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. The total structure, from the ocean floor to the top of the derrick, is 738 feet high and cost over $6 billion to build.

Unlike the fated Ocean Ranger, a platform that sank in 1982 with all 84 men aboard lost at sea, the Hibernia's design incorporates a GBS (gravity-based structure) which anchors it to the seabed. It is fastened to the ocean floor in 265 feet of water.

The structure does not move. It is stationary because it sits in the middle of “iceberg alley,” where icebergs can be as large as ocean liners. As you can see in this picture sixteen huge concrete teeth surround the base of the Hibernia. These teeth were an expensive addition, designed to distribute the force of an iceberg over the entire structure and into the seabed, should one ever get close.

Hibernia's owners take no chances. Radio operators plot and monitor all icebergs within 27 miles. Any that come close are “lassoed” and towed away from the platform by powerful supply ships. Smaller ones are simply diverted using the ship’s high-pressure water cannons or with propeller wash.

As rugged and as strong as this platform is, and as prepared as it is for icebergs to strike it, the owners have no intention of allowing an iceberg to even come close.

But the big one will come, and Hibernia is designed accordingly. It is built to withstand a 1,000,000-ton iceberg, with designers claiming it can actually withstand a 6,000,000-ton iceberg with reparable damage.

What's amazing is that a million-ton iceberg is expected only once every 500 years. One as large as 6-million-tons comes around once every 10,000 years.

Talk about preparation and vigilance!

Unless we get a job on the Hibernia oil platform we don’t need to worry about icebergs coming our way, but we do need to make plans to guard something much more valuable than a $6 billion oil rig.

I’m referring to our hearts.

God used King Solomon to remind us of this when he wrote: “Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)

In this fallen world where the “icebergs of sin” constantly float our way, we must be prepared for anything that could harm our personhood; anything that could mar us as individuals. As Jesus warns us in Mark7:21: “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder…”

Keep the SON in your eyes!
Mark
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