Jun 30, 2010

Bugging out

Big. Ugly. Cockroaches. They make me shudder just thinking about them. A friend of mine works in Tucson where the city employees recently fumigated the sewer system. Now the intent of this ingenious exercise is to kill the stinking bugs. But they aren’t as dumb as they look. My friend said that instead of dying, they swarmed up through the drain and into the house. Lovely.


I’m sure you have seen these spawn of Satan. Actually you can’t miss them. The American Cockroach (Periplaneta Americana also known as the palmetto bug) is the largest species of roach in the United States. Most of the ones that I see are about 2” long. Jennifer and the girls say they’re about 8” long. But they’re big. Big and ugly. What in the world could God have been thinking at this juncture of creation?


Someone once told me that these cockroaches used to live in palm trees. But after man invented the sewer, they found stinky wet effluent was much more to their liking. So they left the comfort and view of the palm tree. Like ancient Druids they went underground never to see the light of day again.


Years ago I worked as a land surveyor. One of the joys of land surveying is measuring the elevation of sewer pipes in manholes. The process is simple. One pulls off the manhole lid and measures down to the pipe. Every time we pulled a manhole lid we could see thousands of roaches scattering from the light of day. If the sewer pipes were too deep, someone had to crawl down the ladder into the manhole. Ugh. It still gives me shivers.


There are two things about these creatures that trouble me. First, they are the most amazingly resilient bug known to man. When stepped on, they don’t always die. It is most unnerving to whack one with your shoe only to watch it rise again. And second, they are quick! These roaches top out at 5 feet per second. Considering its size, it is the equivalent of a human running at 210 miles per hour. (Of course in our house, if a roach shows up, 210 miles per hour is quite attainable!)


There is, however, one other partially troublesome thing. I once saw a television program about a British man with an unusual digestion problem. His only solution was to eat large cockroaches. I say it is only partially troubling because it really doesn’t apply to me. You will never, ever, in a million years, find me dining on a cockroach. Not going to happen.


It was that television program, though, that got me thinking. Maybe the reason I hate these roaches is not because of what they are, but because they live in the sewer. I wonder if I would hate them as much if they lived in nice, clean, palm trees. Maybe, just maybe, I hate them because they live in filth.


It’s a good analogy to man. Before sin came into the world, we lived in a wonderful paradise. But when sin entered, we moved from paradise into our own dungeon of filth. The good news is that Jesus opened the manhole of heaven and stepped down into earth to rescue us. And because the stain of sin is removed from our lives, we will once again live in paradise with Him.




Pastor David Hook



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