Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Surface Beauty; Poisoned Depths

While I was kayaking, I passed a fisherman. I was trying to kayak wide around him so I wouldn't disturb his fishing line, but he reeled it in and waved me through.
"It's ok, ma'am," he said politely, "You don't have to go around me."
"Thanks," I answered, "Catch anything?"
"Oh yes."
"Good for eating?"
"I never eat anything I catch in here," he said.
"Are they polluted?"
"Yes ma'am."

That got me thinking, since I swim in this water all the time. I can not help but notice the water treatment plant along the shore. On hot days, I always kayak on the opposite shore because the stench in that section is unbearable.

When I got home from kayaking, I did a little research. Do you know that in 2008, the Catawba was named THE most endangered river in the USA! That doesn't exactly mean most polluted, but rather, most likely to be destroyed by pollutants, industry, and overuse. Sewage overflows into the Catawba are "common" (EWWWWWW!!), at least in 2008. Motor boats with their pollutants are all over the river and increasing as the population of Charlotte grows. (Reason 9,013 why I kayak rather than motor boat.) Two nuclear plants on the river add their contaminants. Coal ash is a huge source of problems, as well as agricultural and industrial run-offs.

In 2013, it was the fifth most endangered river. The problems all remain, from what I could discern, but there must be 4 communities even less careful about the crap they pour into their water than ours. I noticed a list of which fish one should not eat out of the Catawba. I will summarize here: all of them.

I had no idea. My beautiful river is a cess pool. I am seriously bummed.

And what about the herons all along the shoreline? They eat fish from the river continually. Are they dooming themselves? From what I could find, the herons are fine and there are bald eagles along the river as well (I have yet to see any of them.) Somehow, the wildlife is not yet affected.

I knew there were some concerns about the river, but I didn't know it was that bad.There are no other options nearby to kayak. My choices are the Catawba, the lakes it feeds, or my bathtub.

Things are not always as they seem. Even things that on the surface appear to be beautiful may be polluted in their depths! Satan came disguised as as angel of light. We can be so easily allured by superficiality, yet death lurks beneath the surface. How on earth does one guard against such a trap?

God tells us. False teachers, false witnesses, and material idols that knock God from His rightful place will come, and will deceive many. The temptations of this world are manifold, but they are hollow shells. Crack through the surface, and ultimately all that remains is emptiness that cannot ever satisfy. However, God does not leave us defenseless. He tells us to test everything. Bump all ideas, teachers, actions, and activities up against the truth of scripture. Look for fruits of the spirit, and if you don't see them, take warning! Be discerning. Does the coveting teaching/object point to eternity...or to a moment's pleasure that may indeed poison eternity? Most importantly, dwell in the Word of God and be obedient and yielding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

I will be showering EXTRA LONG from now on after kayaking.

Acts 17:11 

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

1 John 2:18-19 

Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

1 John 2:19 

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

2 Peter 2:1-22

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;

2 Timothy 4:3

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

Ephesians 2:20 

Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

Romans 12:2 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

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