Human Garbage Cans

It has been decades ago since garbage was still garbage. Over the years it has evolved from just the practice of throwing out leftovers into the backyard or into a trash pile to the science of waste management that is a huge industry. In communities all across the nation, there are large tracts of land where huge trucks bring loads of thrown away material and where bulldozers and specialized equipment spread it out and put layers of dirt over it. There have been times when people who work in the waste disposal industry have stopped work because of working conditions or low pay and suddenly a city, a county or an area is crippled under the crush of unusable, smelly, and sloppy leftovers of life. With the density of population across areas of our nation, we cannot live without having a process of disposing of trash and unwanted material.

While we may rarely think about it, there are moments when you just suddenly realize how important and appreciated these people who are involved in the science and work of garbage elimination should be. For me, a wakeup moment took place right after Christmas when there were boxes, paper, turkey carcasses and such that were all waiting to be removed. I was wondering what day the garbage collection was going to take place. I certainly did not want to miss having everything ready for them to pick up because it was already beginning to get in the way, and some of it was beginning to produce its own foul odor. I just took a guess as to when they were supposed to come during the holiday schedule, and I got it right. I felt better about life itself after the garbage was taken away. I am thankful for the people who work in that industry and for our city managers who work to keep the process moving smoothly.

As I was processing what was going on during that time, I thought about the fact that people are not supposed to take in all of the waste, the trash and the garbage of life. Sometimes the garbage is a wrong thought. Sometimes it is an evil word. Sometimes it is the gossip about someone else’s life. Sometimes it is our own wrong thinking. It could be a grudge. It could be a warped opinion. It could be just sheer meanness that we hold inside.

Have you ever known someone in your neighborhood, community or maybe even in your church that just always seemed to know all of the bad about everybody? If you want to know what is going on that is sinister, wrong, hurtful and hateful, you can talk to them and you will get the lowdown. Now, of course, usually they are not doing or saying anything. They are just the garbage collector of the community. Now they may be just people who are extremely interested in everybody else’s business or they may be folks who just love to dig in the trash. Either way when they start picking the stuff up without realizing it they may be loading up the canisters of their brains and not be aware when it begins to spoil their lives.

In the love chapter of I Corinthians, the Apostle Paul shares with us a great insight about this problem in just a phrase. He said that people who have matured, grown up and have Godlike love flowing in their lives “thinketh no evil” (I Cor. 13:5). A literal translation of that phrase could be something like, “They do not keep a record of wrongs.” Let me suggest that we are not to be human garbage collectors. Maybe in your own life, you can see that the trash pile has gotten stacked pretty high. The smell is getting pretty intense. You do not have to wait until spring cleaning to act and clean up the mess that is there.

In Isaiah 38, the prophet came to Hezekiah with a special word for a need in his life. Hezekiah was sick and was going to die. Isaiah brought this word, “Set your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover” (Isa. 38:1). Clean up the stuff because you are going to die and not live. In the context of the passage, it almost seems like Hezekiah was far more concerned about dying than he was about cleaning up. Sometimes the cleaning up will lead to life being better every day.

How do you clean up your house, your heart, your mind and your life? Well, I must tell you that God has a great waste management program. It is a cleansing program and a cleanup of every aspect of your life program. It is all provided by Jesus, His wonderful Son, who can save us and rescue us from the putrification of all that would destroy us. Turn it over to God! Give all of that stuff to God’s memory bank. According to the Word of God, He will forget all of that stuff never to remember it against us again.

Maybe looking back over this last year, or two or three, some of those things that have come to hurt you, haunt you and become imbedded in the very fabric of your life need to be cleansed in a way that only God can enter into your life, release it and do away with it. Call upon Him today and allow Him to do His mighty work in you. Then when you are refreshed and renewed go out and bless others.

Jim Futral
Executive Director-Treasurer