In 1890 the American Society of Civil Engineers called it one of the engineering projects of the millennium.
In late 1800's the Chicago River was a shallow, slow moving sewer of Chicago. It was filled with animal waste from the Union Stock yards, factories dumped all kinds of sludge, and there was a lot of human waste too.
The river was actually combustible and contributed to the Great Chicago fire of 1871. The flow of water dumped directly into Lake Michigan, which was Chicago's source of drinking water. Over 10,000 people annually died in Chicago due to typhoid fever and cholera through the 1880s and 1890s. In 1885 alone, just shy of 100,000 people died of water born illness.
City engineers did what seemed impossible. Digging more than 28 miles of canals and moving more earth and rock than the Panama Canal, a system of locks and gates were built.
On January 2, 1900 the valves were thrown and the Chicago River flow was reversed, allowing Lake Michigan to force the river to change direction and empty into the Mississippi River basin.
Sometimes we Christians need to reverse our direction also. To change our attitudes. A biblical example can be found in Acts 16: 1-2 where the Apostle Paul meets young Timothy. Paul goes on to serve three years in Ephesus (Acts 20:31). He resigns from Ephesus (Acts 20:17-38) and is replaced by young Timothy.
Later Paul writes Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:3 urging him to stay in Ephesus to dispute false doctrine. Some commentators assert that the men teaching the false doctrine were the Ephesian elders. This must have been rough on young Timothy. Paul goes on to admonish Timothy in chapter 4, verse 12 to not let anyone look down on him because of his youthfulness but to show himself as an example to those who believe. In chapter 5, verse 23 Paul suggests that Timothy not drink water exclusively because of his stomach ailments. Possibly Timothy was suffering ulcers from the stress he was under. A change was needed.
How about us? We're at the time of year that we often reevaluate the previous year. Do we need a change? A reversal of direction? What about South Lansing Christian Church? If things need to change, 2016 is a great time to start.