This morning I gathered up all the stuff I don’t want or need anymore. I packed it all up into carefully enclosed containers so that it would not spill. After all, you don’t want the stuff you don’t want to spill all over the place. Once I went through my entire house, garage, and back yard to gather all the unwanted items I brought them out to my transporter pad and carefully placed them in the designated space. Sometimes it is hard to get them all together, like when I am doing a yard project or cleaning my garage but I get all those unwanted items carefully placed on my transporter pad, packaged, and ready to be beamed out of my life. It is a modern day miracle and I used to watch in fascination as all my garbage disappeared but now it is “old hat” and so common I just leave for work. When I come back the stuff is gone and all that remains is a few containers and some scraps that were not packaged or covered correctly.
I paused for just a few seconds this morning as I looked down my suburban street to see neatly packed garbage bags or garbage cans lining the curb. In the distance, on a clear morning I could even hear the garbage truck stopping and starting and even the “BEEP, BEEEP” of going in reverse. Did you ever consider what a modern miracle it is? Okay, so maybe not the equivalent of “beaming” from a transporter pad like in Star Trek, but still a miracle. Most of us have seen, and some of us have even been to, countries that don’t have this modern miracle. We see garbage flowing down the streets in dirty water gutters, or just piled up outside the homes making everything gray and bland.
Many will look at the garbage as evidence of our wasteful society but I have a different twist. I see our garbage as a blessing. I see wrapping paper and trees from Christmas celebrations, turkey bones and empty cranberry cans from a hearty Thanksgiving. I see food wrappers, pizza boxes, and grocery store bags as evidence of what we have that we really don’t deserve. One of the themes in all my writing and teaching is to “consider yourself in a constant state of indebtedness.” So next time you see the curb full of our waste, instead of thinking of it as garbage, think of it as the physical evidence of the blessed. Then say a quick prayer of thanks.