Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gossip Mill (05/08/14)
- TITLE: What's that stink?
By Phillip Cimei
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“Dad, did you eat radishes again?”
“No! And that is rude of you to say that.” I chuckled under my breath because radishes have a way of immediately being belched out of me with the smell of a sewer, dead fish, rotten eggs and a skunk. “As a matter of fact girls, that is the smell of a gossip mill.”
This conversation all began because my wife thought it would be nice if “I” picked up the six teenage friends of my daughter to spend the night. It wouldn't have been so bad except they all lived in every corner of the county and nowhere near each other. This meant that for a good part of an hour and a half I would have to listen to their incessant chatter and iPhone message ring tones which,by the way, ranged from some squeakily voiced superstar teen idol to some yellow one-eyed animated character yelling, “In coming....poot.....he he he he he”.
Girlish giggles filled the back seat as the names, Bobby, Mark, Billy Dan and Noah took first row in their conversations. Then I heard things like, “ She didn't”, or “She is such a snot” , and “I don't believe that”. Finally, each hurriedly texted to keep the gossip mill producing. God works in mysterious ways. I think he worked through my wife on this occasion by placing me in this position. I started praying as to how I could use this opportunity to instill some Godly principals in these young hearts; I took a different route home.
The girls were too busy chatting, texting, laughing and scheming to notice that I was heading to Weyerhaeuser's International Paper Mill. Certain industries have distinct smells like oil refineries, chicken hatcheries with their incinerated rotten eggs, bakeries, and paper mills. As we got closer, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the eyebrows squinting, the noses curling and the hands raising to eventually pinch their noses.
“Ewwwwwww!” they screamed.
I got their attention. I told them, “This mill is just like spreading gossip. People take something beautiful that God created like a tree, cut it down, debark it, and turn it into a pile of chips. They continue to send the chips from one place to another adding chemicals, taking out its natural chemicals, and changing it into something different. Finally, when it is turned into fibers they squeeze it between rollers until it is turned into paper. During this process, there is a putrid sulphur smell given off. The whole town is reminded that it was man, not God, that created this unbearable stench.”
They started poking and jabbing each other.
“The gossip mill goes through the same process. Someone takes what is beautiful, the truth, and chops at it, grinds it up and sends it from one person to the next until it is completely changed. The whole process puts off a stink. And then the hurt begins. Not to just an individual, but to families and friends; sometimes the whole community is effected. That stink rises to the nostrils of God; He is sickened.” I could see a slight change in their facial expressions. There was still some whispers of , “Whatever”, rolled eyes, and pleading from my daughter, “Dad, no preaching. Please!”
“Listen girls, I don't mean to be preachy. Well, yes I do. You have to realize that gossip is one of the most hurtful and destructive thing that little member in your mouth, your tongue, can produce. Jesus said, 'But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.' Matt. 12:36-37 NKJV. I know you girls have a good heart. I was at each of your baptisms and know you have committed your hearts to Jesus. The bible says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, …...” Ephesians 4:29 – (NIV) ”
The girls faces turned red; I could see them whispering all huddled together. Then in unison they all let out a thunderous belch.
“Girls, what in the world?”
“Chill dad! We talked it over and we are sorry about the gossiping. As for the belch, we were just getting rid of any gossip stink left in us.”
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