Last week, I was on a business trip in New Mexico where I stumbled upon an article in the local newspaper detailing the outbreak of moths this season. It caught my attention because we were having a similar outbreak back home. While talking to a friend, he mentioned that his daughter was out at the park and when to use the bathroom. Within seconds of entering the restroom, she screamed at the top of her lungs because the walls & stalls were covered in the winged pest. The cause of the problem appears to be the unusually warm winter that did not kill off as many moth larvae as it typically does in the colder season.The result is an infestation of moths in biblical proportions.
In 1859, Thomas Austin released 24 European rabbits into the wild of Australia in hopes that he would have game to hunt each year. European rabbits have no natural predators in Australia and the result was an epidemic population explosion of rabbits similar to moths we are experiencing now. They have grown since that time at a rate of approximately 80 miles in diameter virtually covering the entire continent. In 1926, over 10 billion rabbits had been reported as they wiped out vegetation, destroying farms to the point of abandonment. As a result, scientists released a virus that targeted the European rabbits known as myxomatosis, killing approximately 99% of the rabbit population. Thomas Austin had no idea of the widespread destruction he would cause for releasing game for his sport.
In both cases, I can not help but see a direct analogy to rapid growth of sin that “so easily entangles” as the author of the book of Hebrews describes. Even our unintentional and personal sins – the dark & hidden ones that we think will never be found – have widespread impact on those around us. A “white” lie snowballs into a tangled web. A secret addiction grows to the point that priorities are shifted and the ones we love are the last thing on our minds. This is why it is so incredibly important that we deal with the sin NOW. Not after we clean up our act. But NOW.
Sin is a deadly force, sucking out the life and vitality out of everyone in its path. In fact, it is so violent that it resulted in the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. It is not something that should be overlooked, swept under the rug, or covered up with the perfume of Grace. Rather it is to be as a mold exposed to pure sunlight, shriveled up and left to die so that we can move forward.