Each Monday evening there’s an important chore I need to take care of. I have to take out the trash as on Tuesday morning the trash trucks will be making their rounds. In the same way we really ought to have a regular clean out of the things that so easily clog up our lives.
Of course there’s also the recycling trucks and I hope you are doing your part to recycle. My local landfill has not been able to secure permission to expand, so we really have to do our part to keep whatever items out of the landfill we can through recycling. However, this is not a post about trash or recycling, although we can draw parallels to our spiritual lives.
As people in an ever-changing world, we are faced with the increasing, fast-paced social media platforms and not to forget all the junk on secular TV. Our lives can so easily be filled with trash if we are not careful. It’s also easy to be plunged into the daily drama of other people’s mistakes and, just maybe, we are contributing to some drama ourselves.
The next time you take out the trash, consider saying this prayer: “Lord, as I take out the trash from my everyday living and set it by the curb, help me to take all the stuff that has gathered and collected in my spiritual being, removing what hinders me from successful living and give it all over to you. Amen.”
It’s Time To Take Out The Trash
But Don’t Trash Your Good Intentions
Have you made a meal and there are leftovers? All of us have. What do we do with them? We put them in a container and into the refrigerator. Many times we will not see that container again until it’s time to take out the trash. So we go through the fridge and, voila, there they are – the leftovers we intended to warm up later and finish off, but something else came along and the poor leftovers were forgotten until trash day.
Unfortunately, this is also an example of what often happens in our lives. We are filled with good intentions but, something else comes along and we miss out on the blessing of fulfilling our good intentions. Don’t waste the good in your life by placing it on the shelf marked, ‘good intentions’ and fail to put that goodness into practice. Our Lord is gracious and desires for all of us to find those good works in our lives and do something with them.
The season of Lent is a great opportunity to focus on the things in our lives that need correcting. It’s a time of repentance, self-denial and, moderation. It’s a time to take out the trash and clean up our messes.
As 1 Peter 2:1-3 says: “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
Let’s lay aside the things that hold us back and embrace the things the help us to grow in our faith.
This article was written by Dr Michael Layne who serves as an Archbishop in the Lutheran Orthodox Church and is pastor of FaithPoints Lutheran Church in Greensburg, IN.