In 2010, Princeton University geomicrobiologist, Tullis Onstott, made an amazing discovery that turned the scientific community on it’s head. He was doing research one mile below the earth’s surface in a South African gold mine. There he discovered pockets of water in absolute blackness that were under millions of tons of rock. They were at temperatures of 118ºF and had been there for up to 12,000 years, according to isotope measurements.
To his shock, in this scalding, ancient water he found small worms, specifically, “nematodes”. They were living and thriving under those conditions, and they had been there thousands and thousands of years. Tullis immediatrly called Gaetan Borgonie, a Belgian nematode specialist, to confirm his findings. In 2011 they published their observations in a paper after naming the worm “Mephisto”, from a Greek word that means “he who loves not the light”. What did they nick name it? The devil worm!
The devil worm lives by eating layers of organic goo, called bio film, through a star shaped mouth. This only grows in that specific environment and provides the organism with exactly what it needs to grow and multiply. Strangest of all, the worm requires only minute traces of oxygen to survive and it’s metabolic waste is virtually non existant. Thus, it had found the perfect balance, and was the only organism of its kind on earth that could live in that specific environment. No one believed life could be found in such a hostile place, yet there it was, confounding the most brilliant scientific minds. An enigma that defied the imagination and living in conditions that escaped any explination.
My point? Like this worm, anyone can learn to adapt and live in situations that are unthinkable. Anyone can give in to the negative things in life. It is much easier to just let a difficult, unexpected situation rule the decisions we make. When this happens, we choose to emotionally navigate through things, and this becomes the driving force that rules our life. In other words, the “facts”, “faith” and “focus” we have get lost in the “feelings”. When these four “F’s” go out of balance, we are trapped in the darkness, like those nematodes. We learn to live in the hostile environment created by our own bad, emotionally based decisions, and this changes everything.
I have also met people, like my wife Esther, who grew up in the most deadly environments imaginable. Unthinkable acts of brutality, anger, abuse, divorce and neglect have been part of life, yet somehow, they not only survived, they thrived and rose above it. She, and those like her, are the champions I have loved to come up along side. They are the unsung heroes of life that make my heart rejoice, and transform the way I think. That’s because they refused to adapt and survive, but they chose to rise and live the life God intended them to have.
What about you? Are you letting feelings direct the decisions you make, or are you allowing your faith and focus to view the facts from God’s eternal perspective? The life you have is like a gift that is built upon the choices you make every day. The greatest gift you can give yourselve is the gift of a good life that comes by making one good decision at a time. If you feel like a nematode trappped in the darkness of an emotionally driven life, there is hope. The life you want begins with one good decision, and then another, and another.
So let me ask one simple question in closing this blog; what are you waiting for? Life as it should be is only one good decision away! Perhaps today is the day to start the life you really want .. Just make that first good decision and you are on your way!