Getting Rid of the Garbage
Taking out the trash has never been so complicated. I have four garbage containers in my kitchen. Yes, four: a blue one for paper, a green one for glass and plastic, a biodegradable brown-bag-lined one for kitchen slop (food scraps), and an ominous big black bin for “evil” non-recyclables. Oh – and a couple more in the garage for soda cans and milk jugs — I guess that makes six types of garbage containers… seven if you count the special bags for yard waste.
It’s all part of the eco-crazed, cappuccino-slurping, carbon-footprint-reducing, navel-gazing, photo-radar-loving milieu of the suburban municipality I live in. Last year, they instituted a new garbage collection program. A Christmas visitor, trying to throw out his trash, made the mistake of commenting on how complex the system is. I went on a 20 minute rant. Sorting, cleaning, and managing garbage has become one of my pet peeves. (It’s right up there with removing price tag sticky gum residue from purchases – or opening clam shell wrappers) I figure that my municipality’s new eco-friendly garbage system has added 8 minutes to my workload each day (that’s almost 50 hours a year!)
Christmas garbage management this past holiday was particularly unwieldy and frustrating. Our house was a hub of Christmas celebration activity. Not only did I have to un-stick the tape and bows from all the paper, separate the clamshell plastic from the cardboard, collapse and slice down all the boxes, separate paper plates from plastic cups, dissect and extract the embedded tin foil from the carcass of the turkey,… I also had to find somewhere to stack and store all the mess. Instead of collecting it on schedule, the municipality decreed that we would reduce our collective carbon foot print by having no collection over the Christmas break. By the time the last guest said goodbye, I was overwhelmed by the accumulated pile of trash. My bins were full to overflowing, and bags were blocking the path.
It’s an odd feeling to long for garbage collection day.
I can hardly express what a relief it was to roll the green and black carts out, and to pile all those blue bags and blue boxes on top of the snow bank next to the curb. I felt so glad to be rid of the oppressive accumulation of trash. I literally felt as though a burden had been lifted.
As I walked back to the house, I thought about how grateful I am that the Lord has such an uncomplicated, effective system for us to get rid of the garbage in our lives.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.”
I also thought about the joy of having a heart that is clean, rather than messed up with the oppressive clutter of sin. Having the Lord forgive my sin means that my heart is a place of peace and order –it’s like a pristine new” Home Makeover” house, rather than one that looks like the “Hoarders” or one that needs those two British ladies with the purple fur-trimmed rubber gloves to intervene.
With the Lord’s system, we can get rid of our garbage every day. It’s not complex. It doesn’t take a lot of work or time. All we need to do is confess our sins, and the garbage is gone. Gifts with no garbage – that’s the amazing offer of Jesus.