Last night I came across Elmer’s photo in Sierra magazine. He is the founder of a group called Waterway Stewards — a group dedicated to picking up trash as they paddle.
Kit picks up trash as he runs. Sometime, if I am close to a trash can, I will pick up a piece of trash myself.
Now, God, I find this a marvelous metaphor for how we all ought to live. Trash picker-upers. Literal visual trash is easy to pick up — and YES I will try to do more of that. But, people who are under stress or unwell (or maybe just in a bad mood) also toss away “emotional trash.” I guess I would describe that as unkind words or gratuitous criticisms.
Sometimes, we get a chance to put in a kind word — or maybe respond in a loving way — after this emotional trash has been tossed. I would call that a chance to pick up trash. Elmer talked about keeping the waterways clear. Communication waterways need to be kept clear, too. Ah, another idea, God. When we apologize we can pick up a portion of the “emotional trash” we tossed. Keeping our interpersonal waterways clear seems like a lovely idea.
Oh yes, prayer, confession and repentance help keep our waterways clear with You, too.
As I heard in the sermon this morning, we are ALL BEGINNERS here — help me be a beginner who is learning to pickup trash and learning not to toss it.