Our pond has an algae bloom this morning. I’ve seen it several times this summer when I’ve struck out along the trail. Heavy rain washes lawn fertilizer from the surrounding subdivisions and our apartment complex into this retention basin, where the hot August sun stimilates millions of microscopic algae to flourish. They multiply so fast that they turn the water a deep turquoise. Dead fish float to the surface, drowning for lack of oxygen.

This morning, I see the white belly of a young brook trout, the first casualty of a thunderstorm two nights ago.

Jesus’ Parable of the Sower (or the Seeds, or the Soil) comes to mind as I walk past the pond. He told of good seed that fell on shallow soil, where it sprang up quickly and grew like crazy…until the sun came out, scorched the spindly stalks, and shriveled them to their shallow roots.

I think it’s easy to grow too fast. Upshot growth consumes our stores for the future and fails to find root in the depths. It makes us vulnerable to tests that are sure to come. It makes our lives spectacular, but short and fruitless. It can even destroy those who share this world with us. Like an algae bloom.