Moving to London, England from Vancouver, Canada was a cultural shock for me. Here are my quick thoughts and experiences with London smog.
To set the scene, I grew up near a city which is seeking to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. They take “environmentalism” so seriously that it is almost their religion, and they worship well. From recycling bins everywhere to so-called eco-friendly cars to renewable energy sources to gardens/trees on rooftops, Vancouver has it all.
Around March & April of 2015, Britain began getting warnings of “toxic smog” that was set to cloud us from the European Continent. This was not your average “London fog” which is quite crisp and makes you feel like you’ve been transported back to Charles Dickens’ time. This was the sort of stuff that made the government caution people with asthma, older people, and people who usually exercise outside. The air quality was poor, to put it simply.
My wife & I live on the 12th floor of our apartment block. Something surprised me when I woke up and looked outside that morning at arrival of the “toxic smog.”
In the thick of it
I looked out towards the South East of London and could see it cover the city like a thick polluted blanket. I hadn’t seen it this bad since I was flying into Los Angeles. I went downstairs and began walking to work when I suddenly looked around and thought that the smog had disappeared. Somehow while I was in the lift heading 12 floors down, the smog was gone!
What had happened? When I got down to ground level, I was in the thick of it. I was so entrenched in it that I could look up and think there were only clear skies.
The point of all this
When I was removed from the smog and above it, I could clearly see it. I saw its affects and knew of its polluted qualities. However, when I was in the middle of it, I hardly noticed it (much less thought about what affects it would have on my lungs!)
Sin is defined as a transgression against a divine law and a divine Law Giver. If you want to know what sin is like, look at the London smog.
Sin is taking good air quality and polluting it to create a poor air quality smog. It is the sort of thing that many people go about their day-to-day lives in the thick of it and don’t even notice that it’s harmful for them.
It’s not just outside of us, but it’s in our lungs and in our hearts. It’s not until we step outside of ourselves and get above the smog in our lives that we will see how it is all around us and polluting us.
The smog in our lives
Thankfully, there is One who came from above the smog and entered into it. He took it upon Himself so that we can be clean. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Maybe you’re in the thick of the London smog right now (metaphorically speaking). Sin is everywhere around you and in you, but you don’t ever stop to think about its affects on your life. How are you ever going to see the beauty of London if it’s covered in smog? You may miss out on the beauties of life if your life is covered in smog.
May this be an encouragement to you to step outside the smog to see its harmfulness and be made clean by Jesus who entered into our sinful, smoggy world.
– Tyson Bradley