With apologies to Charles M. Schulz and Dr. Charlie Brown (the greatest psychologist in world history), I borrowed that line to title this attempt at yet another coluministic mis-masterpiece. Actually the night in question was not stormy; but it surely was dark.

When I was the Operations Engineer at the Newport Electric System, I got a trade magazine that had the following information:

On the evening of November 9, 1965, at 5:15:11 PM, the power usage at an electric substation near Niagara Falls, New York went over the allowable limits. This caused a small relay to automatically switch off that line and simultaneously switch on four other transmission lines to pick up the load.

But, those other substations were not properly prepared for all the immediate extra power load, and their relays took them out of service in what was known as a “cascade.”

In just 2.7 seconds; at 5:15:14 PM, all power from New York City to Toronto, Canada had tripped. Thirty million people were affected by the blackout, some as short as three minutes and some as long as thirteen hours.

Eight hundred thousand New Yorkers were trapped in the subway system and reported a darkness so intense, they thought they were being buried alive. Two hundred fifty flights had to be diverted from JFK Airport to other landings.

Street traffic jammed as all traffic signals failed; horns began to blow, tempers began to rise, accidents happened all at the same time, and crime began to increase proportionately with the opportunities afforded the criminal element by the intense dark.

Elevators were stopped between floors with doors that could not open; all communications were down; radio and television stations that had emergency power continued to broadcast to people who could not listen on dead radios or could not watch on dead televisions.

Battery operated alarm systems blared on horns to which nobody could respond; and emergency backup lighting systems quickly faded as their batteries drained.

In a few seconds, all electric lights on streets and in buildings went off as darkness covered the face of the Northeast as far west as Ohio and as far south as Virginia.

It was a tremendously dark night on November 9, 1965.

Often when the electricity has gone off, one realizes that he has everything he needs for power — the transformers, the insulators and conductors, the meters, the fuses and control devices, and the appliances — everything except the source of power itself – the generator.

The Apostle Paul (writer – not the author — of over half of our New Testament) shared with us many times that the only Source of Spiritual Power is The Lord Jesus The Christ!

And Christ’s Power is more inexhaustible than that generated by every hydro plant, every steam plant, every solar plant, every windmill, every nuclear reactor and every hand-cranked or bicycle-powered dynamic generator combined on the grid. He just keeps on pouring strength into those persons who trust in Him.

And that awesome Power is readily available to you and you and you and he and she and they and them: “Whosoever will, let them come!”

“Five Minutes” is written by Tom Mooty and first appeared in the early 1970’s. Mooty is the longtime and very, very, very, very senior Pastor of Newport’s West End Baptist Church; and can be reached by calling 865-617-8387; writing to P.O. Box 851, Newport, TN 37822; e-mailing to tommooty15@gmail.com; or by hollering at him on the streets of his home town, Newport, Tennessee.

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