Forgiveness & Taking out the Trash

Growing up, this was a once a week task – gather all the trash bags in the house, bring them to the curb the night before, so they were ready and waiting for whatever hour the faithful garbage truck drivers were to arrive to pick it up.  Make sure the bags are tied up and, in the cans, with lids on, so no critters got into them, so you didn’t have an unpleasant task in the morning. 

A family of 5 accumulated a lot of garbage in those days.

Fast forward a few years decades. Now I am a singles adult living a Condo – there is no such thing as a garbage day. 

We have a dumpster – it is readily available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – the terrific truck comes by twice a week.

So, at first, I dreaded taking out the trash. I would wait until the bag was so full that I could hardly lift it into the dumpster. Then I tried the “wait until it stinks method.” Then I gave myself an artificial ‘garbage day’ thinking that would establish a rhythm.

As my 6th anniversary of Condo living comes up, I’ve finally found the secret.

Do all of the above.

Now, when I cut an onion that stinks – and the bag is ½ full, I take out the trash. 

When I do a crafty project – and the bag gets full, I take out the trash.

On Saturdays, when I put clean sheets on the bed and clean the bathroom, I take out the trash. 

It’s a lot like forgiveness.

I would carry a bag around with me and stuff every offence in it until I could no longer bear its weight, or the bag broke, or began to stink, or was politely asked to deposit in the ‘forgiven pile’.

Perhaps until that sermon when the Pastor reminds us to forgive others – then I would go to Jesus, the one who gave all, so we could know forgiveness, and lay all that baggage at His feet…until the next offence. Then a new shiny bag would come out ready to collect all the hurt and misdeeds.

Time and time again, inevitably, I would find myself repeating the processing and collecting.

After almost 40 years of following Jesus, I am still learning.

I want to be quick to forgive – before you ask. In the middle of the offence, when it is the 100th time you’ve done the same thing. 

I choose to forgive – Every day is garbage day.