Pond Scum

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Christianity, Growth, Influence, Maturity, Miscellaneous, Thoughts
Tags: , ,

September 25, 2012

It is amazing to me what God can use to speak to me.  It can be the words of a child, a book I’m reading, or even something I see in nature.  Today, God used the latter to speak to me.  No, I didn’t hear some voice talking to me out loud.  And I couldn’t see God standing right in front of me.  But I could see the evidence of Him, and I hear Him speak to my thoughts.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog postings, I have started to make it a habit to take a short 15-minute break around 10 am each morning, and I go out to the pond that sits outside our offices and just think.  Today, I noticed that the pond scum was pretty bad.  There’s always pond scum on this pond, of course, but it was particularly bad today.  In the center of the pond is a fountain.  In the section the fountain reaches, there is no pond scum.  This made me stop and think about how this can relate to my life.  Three things came to mind as I stood looking out at the water.

First, I noticed that the water furthest from the fountain had the most pond scum.  It was gross and nasty.  I had noticed some of this under the water on previous occasions, but today, it was right out there for the whole world to see.  If you look at the picture below, you can see the pond scum is very noticeable.  In many places, you can’t see the water because there is so much pond scum.

This reminded me of how things can go in my life when I am not in God’s Word like I should be, or when I choose not to spend time with Him.  I can tell when that happens because I don’t act the same.  When I’m in God’s Word, I am more conscious of how my actions are affecting myself and others.  But when I’m not, I don’t pay attention as well, and before I realize it, my “pond scum” is showing.  It starts out with a bad thought.  I think about something I shouldn’t, or I think bad thoughts about someone.  If I don’t get my thoughts in check, the next thing I know, I have bad things coming out of my mouth – gossip, bad words, etc.  Finally, it affects my actions.  I start to treat people differently.  Instead of being kind, I am impatient and sometimes even rude.  Not taking advantage of my time with the Lord sets me up for failure.

Next, I noticed that there were some portions of the pond where the fountain didn’t have quite as much impact.  The fountain had some impact, but it wasn’t strong enough to keep all of the pond scum away.  Rather, the pond scum was moving closer to the fountain in those areas.  In the picture below, you can see how some of the pond scum is encroaching on the territory of the fountain. 

This reminded me of the times when I am in God’s Word, and I am spending some time with Him, but I am doing it more as a ritual because I “should” and not because I “want” to.  I do it as something I need to get out of the way because I have other “more important” things to do.  I might not say that there are more important things to do, but I act like it, or perhaps even think it.  I will rush through my Bible reading for the day, so I can run off and do whatever I think is more worth my time at that point.

When I am in this mode, my “pond scum” might not be so noticeable to other people.  However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there, just below the surface.   When I am not truly engaging God’s Word, my actions might be right, but I can almost guarantee that my thoughts aren’t.  I am doing “just enough to get by.” I am nice enough on the surface, but below the surface, I think bad thoughts or I say “what I really want to say.”  To me, this is almost worse than when I am far away from God because at least when I am far away from God, people will notice and someone will (hopefully) pull me back from the brink of disaster.  But in this phase, people might not see.  I am saying all the right things and doing all the right actions, while inside, I am hiding a life full of “pond scum.”

Finally, I noticed that the areas where the fountain was hitting the most had little or no pond scum.  Those areas were clear and I could see the water easily.  Because the water in that area was continually affected by the fountain, it was able to remain clear of the pond scum.  In the picture below, you can see that there is a big area that is clear because of the fountain.

 This reminds me of those times when I am in God’s Word.  I’m not reading it because I “have” to.  Instead, I am reading it because I want to know God better.  I want to engage His Word.  I want to live out His Word.  When I am in God’s Word in this manner, my life shows it.  My attitude is better.  I treat people with more kindness.  But most of all, my thought life is clear.  I am thinking on “those things that are pure, right, just….” (Phil. 4:8).  The “pond scum” is cleared up, and I am clean inside.

You might wonder how staring at pond scum brought all of this to mind.  Well, Jesus is known as the “living water.”  Good water is moving and active.  It is not still and filled with pond scum.  When I am close to the Source of Living Water, I am able to live in a manner that is more pleasing to Him.  The more I move away from Him, the less I am able to do His will.  When I saw the moving water today, I thought of this, and realized just how being close to the Source of Living Water can change my life.  Realizing this makes me want to spend even more time with the Source.

What about you?  Are you close to the Source of Living Water?  Do you find that when you spend time in God’s Word for the right reasons, you have greater success?  Are you allowing your “pond scum” to show through?

Until Next Time,

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