Lady Knox

by | May 8, 2015 | Bible, Doubt, Faith, Forgiveness, Worry

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:19-21 NIV)

“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” (Prov 29:11 NIV)

Geysers are not reliably predictable.

This is something that became very apparent to me upon our visit to Yellowstone National Park 3 years ago. Even Old Faithful, the famous “on the clock” geyser in Yellowstone National Park. Though it erupts on the average of every 80 minutes, it can usually only be predicted within a 20-minute period. When looking through the list of “predictable” geysers in Yellowstone, we find that all of them give a window of time. So when I learned that the Lady Knox geyser in the thermal fields of New Zealand’s north island erupted at 10:15 every day, on the clock, I was intrigued. Could this be the world’s first, and perhaps only, geyser that you could set your clock by?

We arrived at the park early, but as the clock approached 10:00, there were literally lines of cars waiting to park near the ticket office, long lines of people waiting to buy tickets, and as early as we were, we still had to park nearly a kilometre from where the Lady Knox erupts.

My watch read 10:10 when I finally reached the lookout spot, and it was with impatience that I passed the next 5 minutes. But nothing happened. I checked my watch. Maybe it was a little fast! After all, we were 18 time zones from home!

Then when my watch read 10:20, a park ranger stepped up to the cone on the geyser and called for our attention. I was a little concerned at this point. With the world’s only reliably predictable geyser already 5 minutes late, wasn’t this gentleman taking his life into his hands?

He didn’t look worried however. After a few moments of explanation, he reached over to the Lady Knox’s cone and dropped, way down into the depths of the earth – A simple bar of soap! Seconds later, the Lady Knox began to boil and spew, and within moments, she blew.

We learned that day that the Lady Knox would erupt on her own every 24-72 hours. She was not “predictable”, not at all!

So why did she erupt when the ranger threw in the soap?

Apparently, the geyser has two water chambers, a hot one that is lower, and heats up due to the volcanic activity below, and a cooler one on top, which cools because of a large opening to the outside. When the soap is thrown into the upper water chamber, the lowered surface tension of the water allows it to mix with the hotter water below, and this causes the eruption. The water that then erupts from its cone is soapy.

It seems a bit “fixed”, doesn’t it? But say what you want, the Lady Knox Geyser and its surrounding area are likely the cleanest in the world!

As humans, most of us experience “geyser” moments, don’t we? The “lower” chamber, continually fed by unforgiveness, worry, lack of faith, reaches a boiling point, forcing itself up into the “upper” chambers of our hearts, and we explode. You know what I’m talking about! You’ve carefully controlled yourself throughout all the frustrations of your day at work, but when you get home to find out the kids haven’t done their homework, you reach the boiling point, and you erupt.

I, for one, don’t particularly like these eruptions. I don’t like them when they come out of me, and I especially don’t like them when they spew forth from someone around me!

In Yellowstone there is a geyser called “The Minute Geyser”. In the past, Minute once erupted every 60 seconds, sometimes reaching heights of 40 to 50 feet (12 to 15 meters). Well-meaning tourists, however, clogged Minute’s larger vent by tossing in rocks for “good luck”. Eruptions now are irregular, and usually only reach heights of 12 inches (25 cm).

What if we were to routinely toss God’s Word into the geysers of our emotions? Like Lady Knox, this would allow us to erupt in a more controllable fashion, and it would also allow our eruptions to have more of a cleansing property to them. And like the Minute Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, it would, over time, cause our eruptions to become much less regular, and much smaller!

Tossing things in active geysers is highly discouraged. It is done at Lady Knox under a very controlled set of rules by people who have received special training. Let’s remember that God placed these geysers on the earth for a reason, and man should not play with what God has instituted. The next time you visit an active geyser field, resist the temptation to toss anything. Instead, try tossing God’s Word into the potential geyser of your volatile emotions! You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make over time!

Lyn Chaffart , Mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, , with Answers2Prayer Ministries,


Lady Knox