Last night I grabbed the draw strings to the garbage bag and cinched them tightly, tied them in a secure knot, and hoisted the bag from our trash receptical in our kitchen. It was late, and dark out, plus it had started to rain. So, for the time being, I set it in the corner out of the way.
This morning came. I made coffee. I love the smell of coffee as it fills the kitchen and wafts throughout the house. It’s quite pungent. Perfectly pungent. It easily dominates. As a matter of fact on Kelly and Ryan, as part of their FeBREWary theme this morning they spoke of all the ways coffee can mask various house hold odors. All of this to say, my yummy perfectly pungent coffee was trumped.
Last night, when I cinched the garbage bag and lifted it out of our receptical, I set it out of the way for it’s over night stay. After making the coffee this morning, I walked around the corner in the kitchen and was hit by STENCH Clearly, though I’d cinched the bag, it hadn’t cinched the stench. I walked past the garbage bag sitting out of the way there on the floor as I headed to take a handful of items to the laundry. Literally, on my way to the washing machine, I thought, “Garbage stinks”. Not my most profound of revelations. I think I know that garbage does indeed stink. It really DOES stink. Old, non-living, useless waste, continues to decay and it lets you know it’s doing so. As it sits there. Out of the way. Stinking.
By the time I stood at the washing machine, I caught up with the rest of my revelation.. “Take the garbage out”. Again. Not so shocking. But hang with me for a second. To identify, collect, and deal with the garbage is absolutely the first important effort of getting rid of it. But until I take the garbage out, it will still effect my life. It will still be there to stink, to dominate. It will over power the things I love, like coffee. Garbage can’t be masked or covered. Garbage stinks.
Here it comes. The full revelation.
God is so good at communication with me, and if I’m listeming, it’s life altering. God communicated with me about taking the garbage out this morning. In an instant, the message for me was as pungent as the bag sitting there, out of the way.
I felt God affirm me for the effort I am making to collect the “garbage” in my life. I heard and felt the cheers within myself. Yes, literally, but more metaphorically, God spoke. This is more than cleaning out my closets (though that’s part of it too). When I speak of “garbage” in my conversation with God, I’m talking about the things that I am finished with. The things that are no longer serving me. Ya with me? The things I had used for a season, and are now all used up. The old ways that were worn out and broken. Tracking me? The cheap, poor quality, “gadgety” systems I set in place, perhaps thinking they might distract me from, or be a substitution for actually really living my life - yes the sometimes hard work of life - instead of the short cutting to the short lived feel goods. The wrappers I’ve used to conceal, yet somehow preserve what I really would not prefer. The waste - wasted efforts and time. The excess- the stuff to fill the gaps in my life.
I heard Gods’ affirmation for the effort I have given to gathering up my life’s garbage. It calls for great honesty and truthbtelling and bravery. I’ve identified, collected and dealt with much, and still am. I’ve bagged it, cinched it, and knotted the draw strings. I’ve even taken it from the receptical. But rather than taking it all the way out, I’ve set it down in my living space —out of the way .
Out of the way? Out of the way of what? Out of the way of my awareness? That can’t last long, right? Just as I walked past my cinched bag of garbage this morning and got a whiff, I was totally aware of that out of the way garbage bag. One whiff and I am aware. No matter how far out of the way I may think I’m leaving old stuff, I’m still encumbered by it, because it’s still there! And it stinks!! I must admit I walk through too many of my days still getting a strong whiff of old fears that paralyze me. The pungent odor of poor habits gags me some days. The stench of old lies I believed and perpetuated, of myself and my life, have stopped me from pursuing my dreams.
I could go on and on with this metaphor, but I bet you hear me. That garbage needs to leave. It’s time. For whatever myriad of reasons it all may have served me at one time or the other, the ultimate step in garbage purging means I walk that cinched stenched bag all the way to the curb, out of my life. Just like last nights’ darkness and rain, I do see reasons why I may not have taken the garbage all the way out. But it’s a new day. A new morning. Let it go, Terey. Let the breeze of hope, renewal and love refresh the air. Not masking, but clearing. Like the morning after a good rain. It’s time to take out the garbage.