Friday, February 21, 2014

Trash Day

Several months ago the city of Cochabamba made a decision that really stinks.  I mean, literally stinks.

It has to do with trash.  Up until now, trash management was pretty simple.  When we got a full bag of trash, I would throw it in the back of my car and on the way to wherever I was going I would drop it in a dumpster.  There were trash dumpsters every 10-15 blocks.  The closest one to us was about 15 blocks.  I would swing by, throw the trash in, and drive away.

Then, without any notice, one morning they took away every dumpster north of downtown, which is where we live.  Now, the nearest dumpster is three miles away and in the center of the city—thus to get there you have to endure downtown traffic.  In place of the dumpsters, there is now a trash truck that comes through the neighborhood.

Now you may be thinking…no big deal.  That is how they do it where you live.  However, there is a caveat. We cannot put our trash outside in cans and the trash men pick it up and set the empties back down.  Nope, here is how it works.  The truck drives up the main street with a man standing on the back hitting two metal bars together, “Clang, Clang, Clang!”.  The truck parks for five minutes about four blocks away.  When we hear the clanging, we have five minutes to grab all of our trash and run four blocks.  If we don’t make it, we have to go 10 blocks to the next stop.  The truck comes once a week.  That means that we have five or six bags of trash (there are 9 of us).  

The truck clangs between 5:00 and 5:30 in the morning on Tuesday.  

Yep.  At 5:30 ish in the morning we hear the clanging and have five minutes to get out of bed, get dressed, grab the trash, and make it to the truck.

That doesn’t happen.

So, for a while we would let the trash pile up beside the house.  I would go a couple of weeks and then take a load downtown.  The problem is that, even though we live behind brick walls, the wild cats in the neighborhood can get into the yard.  They rip open the bags and scatter the trash.  When it is time to haul it off, it always stinks, and inevitably there are a thousand maggots with ten thousand parent flies.  The kids actually retch as we gather it.

We learned two things.  One was that it was important to not let the trash pile up.  Even though we thought we could push it aside and deal with it later, that option stunk and was worse.  So, as inconvenient as it was, every two days I would carry a couple of bags to the dumpster.  It was simply too ugly to let it pile up.  Deal with the trash quickly.  Get it out of the house and away from the family.  We don’t want the rotting meat, maggots, flies, and cat poop in the yard.  

The second thing was that we looked for someone to come get the trash.  Sure enough, some guy saw a business opportunity and started a private trash collection.  As soon as we heard of him, we hired him.  He comes twice a week, after 9 in the morning, for $11/month.  

Problem solved.  Trash doesn’t pile up because someone takes it from us.

How about the trash in your heart?  This same lesson applies to the sin in our lives.  We often think that we can ignore those sinful thoughts, that poorly spoken word, that negative attitude.  We think that we can just let sleeping dogs lie and there is no problem.  That is wrong.  Sinful trash accumulates and rots the heart.  It makes you stink.  It impacts you.  You cannot pretend that it isn’t there.  It will pile up until it crushes you and rots your life.  

The best thing to do with the sinful trash in our life is haul it away immediately.  This is called instant confession and keeping short sin accounts.  When the Holy Spirit points out a sinful thought, attitude, action or word…immediately haul that away!  

The second thing is that we have someone that will take our trash.  Jesus Christ lived, died and rose again so that He could deliver you from your trash.  He will not just haul it away, He cleans us up and helps us stop the trash.

Short sin accounts…deal with the trash now.

Trust Christ.  He will change your heart of trash for a heart of gold.