ETERNITY MATTERS: Sludge Taints the View

By Norma Shull Smith

I live on a pond. In fact, the pond is within 5 feet of the sidewalk outside my front window, so I notice everything about it. I like clean, very clean, and for weeks I began to notice a green sludge appearing along the edge. I live in a condo and association fees help with the pond upkeep. Chemicals, a fountain, etc. I found out the fountain hadn’t been placed since winter, because it was broken, with a new one on order and I am not sure chemicals have been added. All I know is there is sludge tainting my view.
Meantime the sludge seemed to grow, so being me, I took it upon myself to rid of the unsightly from just my area of the pond. I took a garden rake and big black trash bag to the ponds edge and began to remove the moss like sludge. The effort was worth it! The pond from the vantage point of my window was now crystal clear; just the way I like it!!
That was last week, but this week, I noticed more sludge. WHAT? Did it move down from my neighbors view to mine? No, hers was still there. Determined, I grabbed my rake and began to remove it once again!! Aha, I seemed to have gotten it. Put everything away and passing by the window, I see sludge floating in other areas of the pond, but still in my view, and I can’t reach it with a rake. WHAT is going on? I decided I was not going to dwell on it, so got busy doing other things. “Good,” I thought, an e-mail came in from the Eagle News that
my deadline for this article was nearing!!
For a change of pace, I thought I would ask my FB friends what they would like me to write about. Within minutes I received a private message from a Michigan friend. She began to share her heart and gave me a great analogy about how sin begins to permeate in our lives like a tiny grain of sand. Because sand is so tiny, you will never find just one grain. If we can’t see it (sin), we pretty much ignore it, and not removed, that grain is drawn to more grains and before we know it forms into “SLUDGE.” Sludge that becomes a hindrance in our lives. WHHHHAAAT? Did I read this right? She mentioned the word, SLUDGE, not once, but twice in her message.
Now my friend has my attention and so does God! This is too rare to be a coincidence. So now I know that I know, what I am to share this month.
Sludge, I can tell you is thick, heavy, slimy and stinky and here my friend has shared what sin is. It starts little and gains on you, sneaks up on you to the point that your mind and heart can’t receive from God, until we get to work, admit that what we have a problem on the inside. What is on the inside eventually surfaces, just like the sludge in a pond and believe me, it isn’t a good view for others to witness. One must have humbleness and ask God to help cleanse the inner self, so that it is clean, clean, clean! Sometimes it takes more than one cleansing, because sin likes to hang around and it can tempt us and grow fast within. Just like the sludge in my pond, sin is ugly and takes something that is meant to be beautiful and for our enjoyment and taints it.
I know that by me cleaning just my area of the pond won’t fix the entire pond, because we have to go to the heart of the problem to remove ALL of the sludge. So it is with the human mind, soul and heart. Suggested readings: Ephesians 4:22-32 Eternity Matters

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