Monday, October 17, 2005


The slugs have been getting to our garden. First it was the summer squash -- that started early this summer, then the cabbage -- and finally, the tomatoes that hang too close to the ground and the summer squash and butternut squash vines.

Yes, the growing season is almost over -- this is the last hurrah of the harvest before the cold of winter really begins to set in here. I've grown to hate slugs with a passion -- the little vermin will destroy all my hard labor in short order if I let them. They're not all that bad one at a time -- but in swarms just after torrential rains like the last couple of weeks have brought, they'll do their damage rapidly. Really, they've taken a toll on the summer harvest as well -- if much more slowly.

Garden slugs are a lot like sin. One at a time they'll blend in to the soil that nourishes the garden, almost invisible except on close inspection, all the while wreaking havoc, if slowly, almost imperceptively, on the final harvest to come! "One little slug isn't so bad -- nothing will come of ignoring it..." we might be tempted to say.

Similarly to slugs, sins sneak into our lives because one at a time they seem so insignificant. Ignoring the homeless woman selling flowers isn't so bad -- she'll find the shelter again tonight; yelling at the receptionist isn't much of a sin -- he'll recover from this berating; one more pack of smokes won't be the one that kills me, one more visit to the adult theatre, one more binge at the local dive, one more gluttonous evening of aimless gorging on potato chips, just a couple candybars on five-finger discount, or two or three DVD's, one more week without going to worship, one more joint, one more hit, one more trip to a prostitute...

Did the prostitute get your attention? The drugs? That visit to the prostitute, that hit's just another slug, just after all the earlier ones, the garden's not looking so great anymore... If I neglect my garden, I won't have a harvest, but if I neglect my fidelity to Christ, if I let all of those little sins creap in, to overtake me, to turn me away from the Gospel and toward sin -- then He will be without a harvest, at least in my case. Not only will my life not bear fruit, the shoot will wither, dry, die, and rot -- and only the most amazing grace will be able to do anything about it.


Betty Newman said...

Once, in a sermon on the parable of the sower, I compared morning glories to sin. Man, they are so pretty blooming in the early mornings, but the vines can be so deadly to the plants.

Great comparison with the (ugh) slugs!

Betty Newman

Anonymous said...

Ladies and gentlemen, the theology of slugs. Very nicely done.