Digging Down Deep

Why do men dig underground to great depths
Wresting from the grips of mother earth
Her vital organs, her lifeblood,
Chiseling, tunneling deeper and deeper
To reach and remove every last bit of "treasure"?
Putting men's lives at risk, day in and day out
People who seldom see the light of day
Who work in the bowels of the earth
Where no human should be
Breathing deadly gases,
Dealing with dangerous explosives
Blasting apart the rocks of ages,
Foundations of the earth
Causing sinkholes that greedily swallow up
The world above ground -
houses and people and lives
Or probing deep beneath the sea-bed
To suck out the earth's lubrication - the oil
Formed over aeons of time
Burned up in just hours
Blackening our soil, sky and souls
Making our planet boil
With fever

And for what? I think I know why
It's a vain effort to bring permanence
To our transient lives
Gold that never perishes
Silver the same
Coal that gives energy for productivity
Oil the same
To speed up our minuscule lives
Cars and planes to get there faster
Bring light into the darkness
And remove sleep
And try to double our lifespan
Trying to create eternity
To use the finite to make the infinite
It's futility

There is a way
To fulfill that inborn desire
To live on and on and on
It's not by artificially lengthening our lives
With stolen goods
But by humbly listening
To the wise Creator
Maker and owner of the bejeweled earth
He has the blueprints
We have scribbled all over them
He has the plan
We have paid no attention
To it
But there is still time
A little time
To listen

by Laurie Van der Hart

Comments (1)

Hey, Laurie! Indeed, mining the earth has led to a deluge of negative consequences. And I wonder if there are many more serious ones yet to be revealed. I’m reminded in this poem of yours of one of the greatest poetic passages in Scripture from the end of Job, particularly, in this case, Chapter 28. I have been reading again my favorite mystic, Walter Hilton, and how we may approach Jesus, the real treasure and worthy goal. -Glen