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« A Deeper Look at the Cross | Main | A Holiness Practicum »

The Wastebasket

legs in wastebasket.jpgWastebasket.  Trash receptacle.   Trash bin.  Garbage can.  The Can.  Dumpster.  File Thirteen.  Whatever you call it, when you stop and think about it, it’s one of the most important items in any home or office. Just walk into room somewhere clutching a McDonald’s bag stuffed with sandwich wrappers, empty french fry holders and a couple of drained paper soft drink containers. With one hand you cling to your briefcase, purse or book bag, and with the other you try to hold your keys, open a door and hang onto this bag of trash. “Where is the wastebasket?” you cry. Alas, it is usually out of sight, behind a door, or beneath the sink. In the meantime, your books spill out on the floor, you drop your keys and manage to kick them under the table so far that you have to get a flashlight and crawl on your stomach to retrieve them.

With all the commotion, guess what you still have safely gripped in your hand? The trash, of course. Instinctively, you don’t allow this bag of garbage to slip onto the floor. You’ve got to find a wastebasket before you can let it go. In fact, you may end up carrying it around for hours if you can’t find a proper place to dispose of it. That is better than risking the guilt feelings that would overwhelm you for tossing it into the corner. Only a slob would do something like that. What’s worse, you may carry the trash around so long that it seems to belong to you.

What’s in a wastebasket? Crumpled pieces of paper, banana peels, coffee grounds, broken glass, junk mail and used tissues (plus a wadded McDonald’s bag and cold fries.) You might also find disposable pens out of ink, Styrofoam packing material and old batteries.

The point is that none of this stuff is good for anything. That’s why it’s in the wastebasket. A house with no wastebasket sooner or later brings the health department calling.

A wastebasket means as much in our lives as it does in our houses. Too many of us walk around tightly clutching pieces of garbage instead of holding items of real virtue. I am blown away at the thoughts, feelings and attitudes that people never throw out, especially when such things sabotage their right relationship with God, or even cancels out their basic enjoyment of life. If this sounds too much like your predicament, go to the wastebasket now!

Always feel like you’re slumming around with embarrassing, crummy thoughts taking over your mind?  Are you having a tough time knowing what to throw out? Try these: bits of gossip, critical thoughts, bitter feelings, past offenses, hurtful words, sneering looks, haunting failures, sins you’ve repented of, disappointments in people, and lost opportunities. How about situations you can do nothing about, bad experiences, old fears or false accusations? None of these things have positive value. They simply make you depressed and feeling trashy.

Can’t get traction in life?  Can’t make your days count?  You are either carting trash around or are forever digging around in the wastebasket. Once you throw something away, leave it there. Walk away from it and focus in on positive values, God thoughts. The Apostle Paul said, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8.  God doesn’t traffic in trash.  Why should you?

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