Of mice and sin…

I’ve never tried to climb a greased pole or capture a greased pig, but I’m fairly confident that trying to ride a dirt bike through spring rain-saturated prairie gumbo bears a strong, slippery, slimy likeness. Our ride was a gooey experience to say the least. But that wasn’t the worst of it…

We had backed the trailer in near a clump of trees on the edge of a staging area, off-loaded the bikes, and were donning our gear when a strong odor wafted about us. The rancid smell of a rotting carcass. Hmm… not such a great place to off-load after all. Oh well, gear up quickly and leave. It’ll be okay.

I reached into my gear bag for my body amour. Eewww, yuck. That putrid death smell? It wasn’t from the trees somewhere. It was in MY bag in the form of dead mice. One even had the audacity to die inside my boot. Double-triple-quadruple yuck. Everything in my gear bag – body armour, elbow guards, pants, gloves, boots – reeked. Only my jersey and helmet which had been stored separately were free from the permeating foulness. Okay, I reasoned, that meant that everything close to my nose was not contaminated. Ride fast, air out; it’ll be okay.

Not so much.

Two hours or more later, after adding gumbo grease and sweat slime to the rank rot, I had never felt so thoroughly unclean. Although I could scrape the gobs of mud from my boots, there was no escaping the cloying, clinging rankness that was no longer resident in my gear alone. I was walking death, living decomposition.

Everything that could be washed went into the laundromat at the hotel; the rest I soaked in the bathtub. I showered. Twice. And emptied almost a whole can of Lysol spray into my boots. And then sprayed everything that had been washed. Three times. And still it lingered…

Several weeks later, I was taking the garbage out, not knowing that Dean had earlier tossed a dead mouse from one of the basement traps into our bin. In the quick seconds it took to lift the lid and drop in a bag of garbage, that same fetid smell of death blasted me. I felt contaminated all over again – in need of a full-scale immediate cleansing like they do when someone in a hazmat suit discovers a tiny hole or tear…

I want to feel the same way about sin in my life. I want to see it for what it is- malodorous, rancid, abhorrent – rather than alluring, enticing, comfortable…
I want even the briefest hint of it in my life to drive me to seek soul-deep blood-washed grace-permeated cleansing. Rather than the putrefying garments of sin and death, I want to be clothed in Christ’s righteousness – pure, holy, and blameless before the One in whose image I have been created.

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