the day 1/4 of a teaspoon of nerve gas went missing

About 85 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, UT is the Dugway Proving Grounds, a desert military installation belonging to the U.S. Army. Most people do not know much about it and that is the way they want it. Dugway tests some of the most sensitive materials known to the planet – including chemical and biological agents.

On Wednesday evening, January 26, 2011, the entire facility was placed in lockdown. Nearly 1,500 employees spent the night in the facility. No one was allowed in or out. Why? Less than ¼ of a teaspoon of VX nerve agent was missing. VX is a potent, oily liquid that effects the nerves ability to carry messages to the brain.

Dugway knew how serious the missing vial was because back in March 1968, thousands of sheep were killed when an open-air VX test went wrong. The VX apparently drifted 30 miles from Dugway to Skull Valley, where the sheep grazed. At first, Dugway denied it was responsible for the sheep killings. Once autopsies were performed, the truth was revealed.

So, Dugway was not taking any chances this week when the ¼ teaspoon vial went missing. No one was leaving until they could account for it. In the early morning hours, they found the vial uncompromised and returned it to its rightful place.

Such a small thing to cause such a big issue. But, they knew better than to think this small amount of missing VX was a small issue. One mistake out at Dugway is not a small thing, it can change the world.

I wish we could recognize the same thing. I wish we realized that we cannot afford to be exposed to even a small amount corruption. There is no small corruption of the heart.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart, for from it flows the springs of life.” If we took that principle seriously, I wonder how many disasters we might avert. I wonder what gates we might close when even a “¼ of a teaspoon” problem arose in our hearts.

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One Response to “the day 1/4 of a teaspoon of nerve gas went missing”

  1. Carolyn Rauh says:

    Thank you Wes. Wonderful post!

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