2 Timothy 2:20 – In a mansion, there aren’t just gold and silver bowls but also some bowls that are made of wood and clay. Some are meant for special uses, some for garbage.
Gratitude Day 726
In our community, Monday is trash day. On Sunday evenings, I begin to see the blue and grey trash bins line-up along the streets of our little village.
Now that Hubby Rick is retired, he’s in charge of trash. Previously he worked on Sunday nights, so we took turns putting the garbage out. These days, I leave it up to him. :-;
While our garbage gets picked up every week, recyclables are on an every-other-week schedule. Most weeks, we have more recyclables than garbage. Especially in cooler weather, we only put out our garbage when both will be picked up. Rick doesn’t want the garbage truck drive down our street for one bag of garbage.
Every time I’m putting something in the garbage or recyclables, I pause to make sure that I’m getting it in the right bin. I have this little mantra that I repeat: “Grey is for garbage.” Yes, this means blue is for recyclables.
There is this feeling I get inside of me when I get something cleaned out. Whether it’s a closet or a drawer, a file folder … there is great satisfaction when I have three different piles: things to recycle, things for the garbage and things to keep. I especially feel good with the keep pile is smaller than the other two. It feels like a small win in my life.
Internally, I know there are some trashy areas that should be thrown into the trash and hauled to the curb. Attitudes or thoughts that really do not serve me very well. Ones that should get hauled away and find a home at the refuse center. Let me share a few examples of what I mean:
- The trash of withholding forgiveness. It hurts when someone does something to you that may or may not be called for. What hurts me even more is when I harbor ill feelings towards that person for an extended period of time. There’s this crazy part of our brains that tells us it’s OK to be upset with the person. Maybe this is OK. But often, we are the ones who are hurting ourselves. The other person may or may not know how you feel about them. Maybe they have moved on and you are still stewing about your hurt feelings. We let this trash accumulate in our lives and soon, we see all the yuck and miss out on the good. Does forgiving the person require that you actually say these words to them? Depends. Sometimes, I just need to get my head right about it and move on.
- The garbage that I have to be Super Woman. Oh, this has been a perpetual problem through, well, nearly all of my life. There are things that I can be really good at. And then, there are things that I can be OK. At times, I felt that I had to be really good at everything. Truth is, this approach only sets me up for disappointment. Some days, I may do something amazing. Other days, I should just be content with being normal. Regular. Vanilla. By the way, I do like vanilla in things like coffee and ice cream. Sometimes, vanilla can even be a little fancy.
- Accept the paper plates of life as well as the fine china. When we have visitors, I like things to be nice. Presented well. Food that is good. Everyone to enjoy themselves. In life, wouldn’t it be great if this is how every day would be? But this isn’t reality. Some days, we just have to settle for paper plates. This is the best it will be. I feel guilty when we use paper plates, knowing they will clog up the garbage can. But sometimes, done is better than perfect. Does this mean we fail to strive for great things? No. But when fine china just isn’t possible, let’s keep realistic expectations and be OK with using paper plates. Every once in a while.
- Jesus is there in garbage. Yep. In fact, Jesus loves hanging out in the trashy areas of our lives. The places where we are embarrassed or struggling? Jesus is very comfortable right here. Over and over again, Jesus hung out with the people who no one really wanted to be around. The people with terminal illness, the ones with sores and open wounds. The poor and needy. Castles where not his jam. Eating with the president or local political leaders was not his preference. Nope, he hung out in the market with the regular folks. At the well where women with seedy pasts visited during off hours. With the woman who the local religious leaders wanted to make an example of. So, when you are wondering who will be with you in the crappy times in your life, I pray you will remember that Jesus is right there. He’s the one reminding you that, “Gray is for garbage,” and a whole lot of other real life stuff.
Where do YOU struggle with trash in your life? What keeps coming back up again and again in your life? What do you need to drag to the curb and let go? You won’t be alone at the curb. I’ll meet you there, as I drop off the trash of my life as well.
For a God who is forever grace-filled with me, I am grateful.
Dear God – Thanks for overlooking all the parts of me that have too much garbage in them. Thanks for making grace available to me, whether I deserve it or not. Thanks for being with me, right in the yucky times and parts of my life. Amen.
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