Have you ever thought about what your garbage says about you?
Many years ago, on a trip to Disney World, my friend and I noticed an employee emptying trash bins in one of the restaurants. Calculating the amount of trash on a typical person’s tray, the number of people in that room, the number of places to eat on site, other sources of trash, and the number of people who go through that one park each day, we were instantly overwhelmed by the amount of trash that must be hauled from that park every day. Even bigger numbers arise when you think about big cities.
So I got to thinking (because that’s what over-analyzers do best), and came up with these results:
What: What is in my garbage can?
- Rinds and skins of fruits and vegetables mean I am putting good things into my body and treating my Temple with respect
- McDonald’s wrappers – not so much respect for the Temple
How: How much garbage do I generate?
- Minimal food in the garbage means I am being a good steward of the money and food God has provided by buying and/or preparing what I will eat and consuming leftovers before they spoil
- The occasional big styrofoam pieces might mean I got something really good! 😉
Where: Where am I putting this material?
Here in Onondaga County, we have a great recycling program. The county provides free “Blue Bins” in which you place recyclable paper, plastic, and metals. It gets picked up on trash day by a separate truck. Instead of sending all that material to landfills, it gets recycled. Warms my heart.
- If I put recyclable material in my trash can instead of the blue bin, I am adding to the amount of waste dumped into the environment
Why: Why should I care?
Every week I am thankful for the people who collect our trash. I am thankful that we have a convenient venue to dispose of unwanted materials so we can keep our homes and neighborhood clean.
In a way, this all reminds me of what God does for us. Every time we come to him with our trash (sins), he takes them away. Some he destroys and forgets. Others he recycles into something new.
Some of us have way too much stuff that we keep around and should purge a few bags of excess material. It is not healthy to let trash or sins accumulate. We should be purging both regularly. We should also be mindful of what we take in to our homes and minds. Is it beneficial or harmful? Is it necessary or frivolous? If the latter in either case, we should not even bring it home.
We all have trash in our homes and sin in our lives. The key is to think about how and why we are generating that trash, and to modify our thoughts, words and actions to reduce our environmental and spiritual footprint. Are we feeding our bodies and minds the proper nutrients? That means healthy, raw foods for our bodies and Bible study for our spirit. It is fine to have a treat or watch an entertaining movie, as long as we have a solid foundation of “good stuff.”
So, take a look in the can. What are you bringing home? Do you need to do some spring cleaning?
What does your garbage say about you?