Monday, February 01, 2010

The Problem of Multiplying Snails

I never realized snails would become a terrible problem for me. It started when I wanted a plant in my 20-gallon tank. Taking a leaf from the 10-gallon tank, my husband found an identical plant at the fish store. Shortly after I had planted it, I noticed a snail.

Within a couple of weeks these creatures had infested the tank. My children insisted I needed to clean the tank thoroughly and start over with new rocks. I preferred searching for snails daily and then disposing of them. It did not work. The more I caught; the more I discovered.

When the tank began to leak, I knew I must buy a new one. If I was going to start over, I figured I should buy rocks as well. It would be silly to transport my problem from one tank to another. Instead of buying a plant, I took a clipping from the 10-gallon tank and planted it in the new tank. Why did I not do that in the first place? Perhaps God wanted me to learn an important lesson.

Thinking how quickly the snails multiplied reminded me of yeast. Every bread maker knows that given time a little yeast will work its way through the dough and make it rise. In the Bible, God uses yeast as an example of the spread of good and evil.

Jesus told a parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough” (Matthew 13:33, NIV).
Another time Jesus said, “How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matthew 16:11, NIV). Then the disciples understood that Jesus was warning them about the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. In the first example yeast represented the multiplication of good whereas in the latter it symbolized evil.

I doubt I shall ever forget this episode with the snails. Whenever I remember, I shall pray that my life will influence others for good and not evil.

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