I live up a boreen in rural Kerry, two miles from nearest shop, ten miles from a town. Until very recently (a month) we had to store our refuse for a month and then take 15 miles to the local tip in a beat up old Suzuki.
All organic material was recycled:
Paper shredded and used for rabbit and chicken bedding for us and our chick friends
Raw organic food waste to the compost bin along with coffee grounds and teabags, torn up newspaper and cardboard
Polystyrene reused to package stuff
Cooked food to the animals – meat to cats and dog, veg/pulses/seeds to birds, everything else to the rodent family – who in turn kept the cats busy!
Whatever was legal to burn we threw in the range, everything else went to the dump.
Now, I have two shiny green bins outside that get emptied fortnightly, all I have to do is walk a mile downhill with them full and a mile uphill with them empty. Rubbish collection is such a basic need in civilised society, I don’t know how I managed without it.
How do we get rid of the rubbish in our minds and hearts, how do we let go of all the stuff that makes us sluggish in our spiritual lives, how do we throw out, dejunk, declutter, downsize the stuff that slows our journey with Jesus.
“Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cuse of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:16-17
What about if we focused not about what Jesus can do for us but what we can do for him, through him.
What about if we turn out our spiritual pockets and sift through the rubbish leaving behind only good things.
What about dropping all the bags of stuff we have collected through a lifetime, resting in the Lord and maybe even deciding to just leave it all and walk away from the baggage.
20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Gal 2:20 (NIV?)
If we have complete trust in, and rely totally on and stick close by Christ we can let go of all the stuff that slows us down, instead of holding on tight to ever increasing burdens that get heavier each day, we can let them go like letting go of a balloon, we don’t have to watch, we have the assurance of knowing that the balloon is moving further and further away, eventually popping, deflating to nothing.
And we are left, without burden, free, with joy in our heart, a spring in our step, full of gratitude for God’s love, his immense mercy and overwhelmingly huge grace.
Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
a His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who b wait on the LORD
c Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40: 28-31