I have a Sago Palm near our front walkway.
Some time ago, I noticed some white particles of something on the fronds.
After doing some reading about what it could be, I trimmed off the branches that seemed to be the most affected by this "white stuff."
Sago Palms will grow a completely new set of fronds all at the same time.
When the precious, new fronds are visible, they are curly and small.
The grow longer and finally toughen up and branch out into a fan of green.
Just before that happens, it is quite desirable to trim off ALL of the older fronds, allowing the plant to consist of only new ones.
Most recently, taking large clippers, I had trimmed all of the older fronds away—those with white specks and those without—leaving only the newly emerging ones to take their place.
It has come to my attention that these new fronds have become infected with the same snowy infirmity.
This morning, I decided to research this issue again.
What has attacked my palm is a tiny insect called the Cycad Scale.
I read that it was actually brought into this country on accident through a port city about a six hour drive from my home.
It has been spreading ever since.
It seems that it is very difficult to get rid of all of them and to keep them away on a permanent basis.
The insects first inhabit the lower portion of the fronds.
This is not readily seen.
Next, it moves to the visible top of the fronds, the stems, trunk, and finally, the root of the plant.
A foreboding statement in the article was printed in large, bolded letters: "If not controlled, this little insect will kill your plant."
So, it’s up to me, then.
The problem is actually a deadly one, although it doesn’t appear at first glance to be that serious.
Humans aren’t personally at risk from Cycad Scale insects.
We don’t see people walking around with little white bugs stuck to their arms.
There is a threat that is far worse than that, though.
I don’t hear the word sin much, but the Bible warns of its presence.
Like Cycad Scale, it often shows up in places that aren’t seen readily.
Maybe we could just call it, hidden sin.
Next, other sins make their way into areas of our lives that are more apparent.
Finding a good place to multiply, sin can begin to permeate deeper places, finally taking hold of the root of our very being.
It might be appropriate to type large, bolded letters for this next statement:
"If not controlled, sin will kill you."
The article I read about Cycad Scale gave instructions on how to get rid of the insects on the plant.
It was a continuous treatment, not a one-time fix.
So, how do we control sin?
First of all, the things that displease God (sin) must be repented of, and in so doing, God is faithful to forgive us.
When they are forgiven, they are wiped off and removed.
If others crawl up and take their place, the same remedy is needed: repentance and forgiveness.
Sin was not brought into the human race by accident, but by choice in the Garden of Eden.
It has, however, spread to every person born since that moment.
So, it’s up to me, then.
It’s also up to you.
What will we do about sin?