Taking Out the Trash

January 31st, 2014

We missed trash pick-up the week before Christmas, and then it had to be put out on Christmas Day, and oops, we forgot again! Of course, the following week the trash service was delayed because of the New Year’s holiday.  Even though we still put out our weekly recycling, this family of six (and the forty-something guests that came and went over the holidays) created quite a lot of garbage. We filled up our primary can, and two smaller cans, and then started stacking large black lawn bags full of trash. To say that I was sick of trash was an understatement. I couldn’t wait to have it carted off.  And today was the day!

The trash truck came and went rather unceremoniously, leaving behind three empty cans, which my sons stacked neatly by the garage door.  And I breathed a sigh of relief. It’s amazing how such an ordinary thing made me feel so much better.

It reminded me of life.

There’s a lot of garbage in day-to-day life. It takes a variety of forms.

Sometimes it’s anxiety.  We worry about our children, our finances, our marriage, our work, our health, our parent’s health, our children’s education, our government, or world peace.

Sometimes garbage comes in the form of anger. We get angry at the car that stopped short in front of us, at the woman who is holding up the line at the grocery store, at our children for disobeying, or at our spouse for not listening. 

Sometimes it’s guilt. We regret bad decisions we made when we were young. We regret the way we handled a situation just yesterday. We regret missed opportunities.

And sometimes it’s fear. We are afraid of losing our jobs. We are afraid of becoming a victim of crime. We are afraid of a worsening economy or uncertain healthcare. We fear for the future of our children.

Anxiety, anger, guilt, and fear—just a little of the baggage we accumulate each day, and it all adds up to an untidy pile of trash that weighs down our spirits, clutters our thoughts, and contributes to rather stinky attitudes.  

I’m so glad that I have a Savior who takes out the trash for me. Psalm 51:10 says,

“Create a clean heart for me, God; put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me!”

And the best thing is, I don’t have to wait for a certain day of the week. I can go to my Savior any time, and the more often the better. Then God will not only take away the garbage but also replace it with the peace and joy that comes with the presence of the Holy Spirit.  

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