The Everglades National Park
FIU IDH 4007

Full of Crap

Antonio Eguiluz
IDH 4007
Spring Semester 2005

   Who would have thought that by picking up trash you could have a great revelation? The idea of spending a whole Friday morning picking up trash along Tamiami Trail in the Everglades was not something that really excited me, but it was something that I had to do as part of a class. As I started walking along the path assigned for us to clean, I rapidly noticed that cans and bottles of beer were going to be the most common element in our garbage bags.

   A Coke twelve-pack box was the most noticeable object on the ground, so I walked to it to pick it up. Unfortunately something disgusting awaited me; my nose did not help me notice what was sitting underneath that colorful box. Stinking human feces decorated with white toilet paper around it was what I found. I was disgusted and I did not want to keep picking up trash fearing to once again find something similar. Nevertheless, I kept doing it. As we walked down the road, the image got printed in my mind, and it did not go away. Little did I know what I was going to learn about those excrements.

   I can imagine that around one week ago, three fishermen arrived at this road. They were fishing, drinking and eating for a couple of hours, when suddenly one of them needed to go to the bathroom, but there was none around. Therefore, the one in need had to walk away from the group in order to do what he needed to do in a private place, where none could see him. Moreover, what he did had a highly displeasing smell. Even though defecation is a natural action, it carries a level of shame with it. Furthermore, this fisherman covered his excrement with the intention that no one would ever find it. In spite of everything, I am sure that he was not the first person to do something like that, nor will he be the last one. In another words, I can say that the Everglades is full of crap.

   Just as defecating, sinning is a natural act within our natural nature. Furthermore, many times, when you defecate, you do not smell the bad odor, but others surely can. In a very similar way our spiritual lives are full of hidden stinking areas that we do not want anyone to find or even worse touch. There are many areas deep inside of us that are so full of disgusting things that we have secretly done throughout the years. Although these things have been forgotten, they still remain inside of us, emanating a nasty smell. Yet, just as I picked that Coke box up and revealed that which was hidden, something similar happens in our lives when we decide to surrender ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ. Once you open your heart to Him and accept Him as your Lord and Savior, then He will start a cleaning up process. Jesus will put on his rubber gloves and take lots of plastic garbage bags to do a major clean up of yourself. This could be a long and painful process, but it certainly is worth the pain because in the process you will be able to fulfill the purpose you were created for, which was to have a relationship with your creator. Just as the Everglades can not clean itself, and it needs us, higher beings to do so, we need God to do that cleaning job in us because we can not do it by ourselves. The wise King Solomon wrote in the book of Proverbs: AThere is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.@ The first step that you need to take to be cleaned is to truly see yourself in the condition that you are. That is, the condition of a person who sins every single day of his life, and that will never make it to heaven on his own. Moreover, you have sinned, and the price that you will pay for your sin is eternal death; nevertheless, Jesus paid that unreachable price with his life on the cross, and now you are able to come to God through Jesus Christ alone.

   Something that I learned, which impacted me, was that when Indians die, their families dispose of their suitcases (in the Everglades!) with all their belongings with the hope of giving them freedom in their afterlife. I know that different cultures are brought up to believe different things, but once you have a real encounter with the only living God, then you will know, that He is real, and that He is the only one. He says that all the other gods are just idols, made out of clay and mud. Moreover, reincarnation is a traditional belief in many cultures, which seeks a way of trying to reach a level of purification. Nonetheless Hebrews 9:27 states: AAnd as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the Judgment.@ Many times people decide to follow their own tradition even though they might go against God's will.

   Just as we are the only hope that the Everglades have to be saved, Jesus is the only way to heaven. Now that you know this truth, what are you going to do with Jesus? Would you let him clean your Everglades? Remember that He is the only one that can. Save your Everglades, and do not let that beautiful creation burn forever.

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