Trash service comes to my home on Wednesdays. On July 4, I missed trash pickup.
Several of my neighbors and I were uncertain if the trash would be picked up that morning.
When my closest neighbors, who are single or empty-nest couples, set out their garbage, they take one or two bags at most. No big deal. Myself, with a family of seven, taking out the garbage is a 30-minute affair. The last thing I want to do is take all the garbage out and then bring it all back in if they didn't come. So I waited.
The trash service not only came, it came early. Since the majority of the homes on the route did not put out their garbage, the trash haulers were able to quickly buzz through their route. By 7 a.m. the three or four trash bins that were set out were empty waiting for next week's refuse. All the while my garbage sat in the garage.
The next morning while my coffee was coaxing me out of my slumber I heard a distinct sound. The garbage truck was nearby. It billowed like a beast down the street. It was close. There would be refuse redemption!
I quickly grabbed two garbage cans only to experience eerie silence. No sounds, no truck. Then off in the distance the truck roared. Like Ahab I set out to find the great white beast only to find her eluding me yet another day.
When I realized how ridiculous it was chasing this great white beast the question came to me: "Am I as quick and as diligent to put out the garbage that threatens my soul?"
2 Timothy 2:22 says, "Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness -- faith, love, peace."
Defense and offense: Run from what will destroy you, run to the things of God. Get away quickly from the garbage that will destroy your soul. Chase after that which will nourish it.
The garbage in the garage will sit and stink until the next garbage day. But the garbage that attempts to take up residency in my soul can be taken out at any time.
Flee the garbage that tries to fill your soul and run to the things God has for your life.
Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.