Taking out the garbage

I cleaned out our freezer last week. I was looking for hot dog buns to give to a friend. I found the buns along with several packages of year-old freezer burnt meat and an ice pack that belonged to our neighbor. It’s amazing the things that get lost in the back of the freezer.

I decided it was time to throw out that old meat. So, thinking that I hadn’t yet missed the weekly neighborhood garbage pick-up , I threw it all into a trash bag and took it to the curb. Guess what? I had missed the trash pick-up. They come on Wednesdays. My burst of energy on the freezer project didn’t happen until Thursday.

So this morning, as I was sitting on the lovely balcony just off our bedroom, reflecting on the beauty of God’s creation – blue skies, green fields, and distant mountains – guess what invaded my thoughts? You got it – the smell of rotting meat. Rotting meat doesn’t smell good anytime of day, but especially just after breakfast.

This month, I am reading devotionally in the book of Jeremiah. It’s really depressing and I’m so thankful that God has not called me to Jeremiah-like assignments. This morning on my balcony, I read about the sins of Judah, their worship of false gods and their refusal to repent. I read all this against the backdrop of the smell of rotting meat. As the stink of my own garbage surrounded me and overshadowed the beauty around me, I was reminded that my spiritual garbage has the same effect on God, overpowering by a long-shot all the good things I may do. It was a powerful olfactory lesson.

So this morning, I asked God to take out my spiritual garbage. And I plan to see if the garbage folks can make an early stop by my house this week. After all, it’s still only Monday.


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