It is bin/rubbish/garbage day here in the village where I live in the south-eastern part of England. And can I take a moment to say a huge thank you to all those who work in refuse collection and waste management. We applaud our healthcare workers every week now in the UK, and rightly so, but those men and women who pick up our waste and help keep everything clean fulfil an important role too. Imagine for a moment what it would be like if they didn’t do it! So a massive thank you to all of them today.
Anyway, back to the post already in progress…
In our village,and it might be the same where you live, we have a local Facebook page for local people to share all kinds of things. The are plenty of adverts for local businesses, which can be helpful, and update on what is going on in the area. As well as this useful material, there is more than a reasonable amount of complaining too.
One neighbour photographs the other’s bin and shares it to the page saying “They’ll never take all that!” Another comments that they saw said neighbour putting an extra bag in the other neighbour’s bin without permission… it’s quite the soap opera!
This is all vaguely interesting Andy, you might well be thinking, but what does it have to do with the Bible? Actually i think the Bible has a lot to teach us in our everyday lives, and here are a few lessons we can all learn from the garbage!
Be grateful for what you have
As I dragged our multiple bins and bin-bags out to the kerbside last evening, I glanced up and down our street. We produce a fair amount of waste as six humans live in our house. We used to use a voluntary recycling scheme to reduce our waste, but COVID-19 put a stop to that. Every house in our street had a lot of rubbish to put out for collection.
It got me thinking – if we are throwing away this much, then we must have an awful lot to begin with. How fortunate we are to have so much, and to be able to throw away so much!
Most people reading this will be reasonably wealthy in comparison to some in the world. We take our blessings for granted, and do not realise that many of us throw away more in a month than some people own.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!Psalm 100:4 (ESV)
Given how much we have, and how much we waste, we have no excuse for not being thankful.
The things we throw away are not just waste, but they represent the time we spent working to earn them, and often the joy we got from using them. When you throw something away, take a moment to thank God for it. I know it may sound silly, but everything we have comes from God and it’s not wrong to say thank you.
Be considerate to each other
At a house where I used to live, they were fairly strict about what you could and couldn’t put out in your household waste. As well as only putting out certain items, you had to ensure they were in the correct colour bin or sack. Woe to anyone who got it wrong!
One time we put out a sack of garden waste; grass cuttings and the like. Unfortunately, we put it in the recycling receptacle by mistake! An eagle-eyed refuse collector spied the suspect package, ripped the sack open to inspect the contents and then unceremoniously dumped the grass clippings all over the side of the road.
I hold my hands up to the mistake of course, but it was not really necessary to make the mess as he did. Such behaviour is just inconsiderate. Someone else had to come along and clear that up, and it was clear they did not care who it was.
Be considerate of other people, even if it inconveniences you slightly. Don’t take shortcuts and put other people out just because you cannot be bothered.
another now infamous post on our village’s Facebook page shows a car parked right across the pavement blocking anyone with a pushchair (stroller), wheelchair or even those walking. Why? I suspect because parking spaces were full and they did not want to park down the road and walk the rest of the way.
We are all in a hurry at times, and it can be very tempting to take the path of least resistance. But make sure that your choices do not impact on others.
Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves.Philippians 2:3 (GNT)
Put other people ahead of yourself. And please notice that Paul makes no mention of whether they deserve it or not. If you cannot do it for them, then do it for Jesus.
As our waste is collected on a Thursday, I try to remember to put it out the night before. However, it is usually just after I’ve sat down for the evening on a Wednesday that I remember. Sadly I’ve spent many an evening uttering to myself and grumbling about having to do it. What a terrible attitude!
Don’t complain about having to sort out your waste into recycling, non-recycling, garden waste and food. Do it with a good attitude and be grateful you have waste to sort.
Don’t complain about your neighbour’s huge pile of rubbish, or those who do not recycle for whatever reason. Don’t grumble if your bin is missed from the collection one week, or if they refuse to take it because you have not put the right items in the right place.
And don’t take photos of your neighbour’s bin and put them on Facebook, it’s just not cool.
Do everything without complaining or arguingPhilippians 2:14 (ISV)
Do everything without complaining. Even putting out the rubbish. I hope this gives you something to think about the next time you are hauling a bag to the side of the road!