One day this week there was a large Styrofoam container filled with half-eaten food lying right in the middle of the road. Before I went on my walk, I had read the day’s news, bad of course, and I wasn’t happy with the world to begin with. Something about seeing that pile of garbage on a beautiful stretch of road made something inside me snap. I thought about how tired I was dealing with other people’s “trash”. And I don’t mean just the trash on the road. I was so tired of what I consider the garbage that people are dumping on each other on every side of every issue that comes up these days. Why can’t I have at least my little peaceful stretch of road without someone inconsiderately or even intentionally “trashing” it?
As I often do, I complained to Cathy. "I’m tired of picking up other people’s trash." "They are adults." "Is it such a sacrifice to drive their all the way home or to work and throw it away there?" "I am so sick of other people doing what they want without considering what it does to other people!" "Can’t they just grow up!?!"
As soon as my rant ended, it hit me how much of my garbage other people have had to deal with. Scenes of unkind words, thoughtlessness, and childish deeds of my own came to mind. People have dealt with more than a little trash I dumped on them. I was glad most have shown me grace even when it cost them in some way. And I became especially grateful that Jesus was willing to clean up all my past sins and mistakes and garbage.
I quickly grabbed two plastic bags and headed out for another walk. This time with a little better attitude.