The Big Thunder Gold Mine and Seeking After God
My family and I visited South Dakota this year on our family vacation, during which we stopped at the Big Thunder Gold Mine and were amazed to hear the history of that piece of property. At a time when mining was extremely dangerous and the average miner would drop over dead after just a few years of work, two German immigrants bought the property and labored for decades cutting through solid rock by hand:
“Using hand equipment to drill holes in the solid rock, they then placed the powder in the drill holes to blast the rock loose. The miners used the drilling process called double jacking. One miner would hold the steel drilling bit, and the other would hit it with a sledge hammer.”
Our guide told us that when visibility was poor, the miner holding the drill bit would place his thumb over the end of the bit so that his companion would have a target to aim at. He would then shout “MARK!” and move his thumb out of the way before his friend smashed it with a sledge hammer! Once the dynamite was inserted into the holes and lit, the miners would have to run out of the mine in order to escape the blast debris; a task which no doubt increased in difficulty as the miners became older and the mine became longer.
The miners earned almost nothing from their work in the mine, but I was struck at how they willingly spent decades of their lives engaged in the most grueling and life threatening work in the mere hope of riches. I could not help but think of our Christian lives and wonder how much we are willing to go through for Christ who died for us, when we are assured of success and eternal reward. May God help us to live for Him!