That’s what authorities at Miami’s international airport said they found inside the trousers of a passenger as he tried to board a flight for Brazil. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said the man had seven exotic snakes and three tortoises wrapped in nylon bags that had been stuffed into his pants.
He was discovered as he went through a body scanner at one of the airport’s security checkpoints recently and arrested by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials for violating animal trafficking laws. Authorities declined to identify the man or offer any explanation for his botched attempt at reptile smuggling.
My first thought when I read this story was, “What in the world made him think he could get away with that?”
My second thought was… “We do that very same thing with sin!”
Let’s be real. It’s not hard to hide our sinfulness, most of it anyways, from one another. We clean up and dress up and are careful to be on our best behavior when we gather on Sundays. We do the same when we’re out and about in public. But then the alone moments come and we let our pet sins out of their closet.
Does this fool God? No!
Does this disappoint God? Yes!
Does this cause us to forfeit our salvation? No! (Romans 8:1)
Does this keep us from embracing the full life Jesus came to make possible? Yes!
Does this inhibit our experience of God’s divine presence? Yes!
Does this limit our effectiveness if furthering God’s kingdom? Yes!
It’s not about being perfect but about participating in God’s purposes for us and running the race of life with everything we have. Trying to hide our sin from God is like hiding snakes and turtles in our pants… it just doesn’t work! The solution is to lay them aside!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” ~ Hebrews 12:1-2