At thirty-six seconds past 4:00a.m. on March 28, 1979, a deadly chain reaction erupted. The Metropolitan Edison’s Three Mile Island power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was in trouble when the normal flow of cooling water to the reactor core was accidentally stopped. Consequently, a valve few open that allowed water to drain out of the reactor core. A small amount of radioactive gas was released into the morning air, threatening the communities nearby. One of the most dangerous kinds of explosions known to man was now on its way—the meltdown of a nuclear reactor!
Two long hours passed before plant personnel discovered that there was a malfunction. Even then, the operators did not understand where the problem was located. They began to frantically work to uncover what was wrong.
Shortly after 7:00 a.m., seven alarms went off, screaming that radiation levels were rising in the plant. As radiation in the plant’s control room reached dangerous levels, the power plant was put on General Emergency.
By 11:00 a.m., all nonessential employees were ordered out of the plant. A core meltdown—the most serious kind of accident in nuclear energy—was almost certain unless something was done. What was wrong? Why couldn’t the problem be corrected?
Finally, at 4:00 p.m., twelve hours after the accident had begun, plant personnel correctly diagnosed the problem and forced cooling water into the core. The meltdown had been averted. A later study showed that the reactor had come within one hour of a meltdown!
Why didn’t the personnel recognize the danger in the first place or correctly diagnose the problem once they realized the reactor was malfunctioning? Part of the problem was that employees didn’t read the gauges accurately. One indicator was hidden behind a hanging caution tag and a worker may have obscured another. Therefore, the operators failed to notice that the pipes leading to the auxiliary water pumps were closed causing the reactor to heat up. Because of these problems, the reactor almost exploded, releasing lethal doses of radiation into the air.
Still, the aftermath of the accident was enormous. It took the reactor three years to cool enough so that scientists could lower remote-control cameras into it. The cleanup took ten years to complete.
Gauges are terribly important to the operation of any plant. The thick metal sides of the boilers prevent anyone from seeing how much water and steam are building up inside. That is why the boilers have gauges. If the gauges malfunction and the safety valves do not work as they should, workers may be killed or maimed.
I am sure you have seen pictures of old-time boilers. On the outside of the boiler is a tiny glass tube that serves as the gauge. The water level in the tube mirrors the water level in the boiler. When the tube is half full, the boiler is half full; if empty, so is the boiler.
This is similar to how the Ten Commandments can also protect us from slavish lifestyle of regulations. As I study and reflect on the Ten Commandments, I gauge my spiritual life as God sees it. On one hand, I can tell whether I am observing rules and regulations not mandated by God, which can add unbearable pressure to my life and lead me into bondage to manmade rules. On the other hand, by looking at my spiritual gauge, I can also see if I am failing to follow God’s Spirit so that my spiritual life has no supernatural drive and direction. These ten brief statements plus the Golden Rule help keep my life in the center of God’s will.
Only as we rely on God’s power can we truly attain the standard that God sets for our behavior. When we observe the Ten Commandments in the power of God’s Spirit, they liberate us to do what is essential to please God. They tie us into the love of God by helping us to get in step with what He has planned for our lives and for how He wants to protect us from wrongdoing and its consequences.
These ten rules have been a vital part of any “success” I have experienced in life.
The Ten Commandments have helped me build a wonderful relationship with my great Creator God and Savior, as well as with my beautiful partner for life, Vonette. Obeying these laws have guided me to be a godly faither to our two sons. God’s Laws have guided my as I have directed a fruitful international ministry for five decades. I can recommend no other way of living and serving God.
I highly encourage you to memorize the Ten Commandments. Meditate on them and ask the Holy Spirit to help you obey them. They are keys that unlock God’s love and blessing.
Do not worship any other gods besides Me.
Do not make idols of any kind.
Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Honor your father and mother.
Do not murder.
Do not commit adultery.
Do not steal.
Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.
Do not covet.
--Exodus 29:3-7, NLT
By Bill Bright, adapted from Written by the Hand of God
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