Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Trash Man Cometh!

The Trash Man Cometh

“Honey! Have you taken out the trash, yet?” Thought to have been first asked in the Garden of Eden.

It is downright tragic how some people can so thoroughly trash their lives and the lives of those closest to them, and be utterly blind to the fact that they created the mess they are sloshing through. What makes it particularly troublesome for them is that, because of their chosen blindness, they keep doing the same things that created the trash in the first place. Of course, you and I have never fallen prey to such blindness.

“Chosen, you say? Who would willfully choose to trash their lives or the lives of others?” Glad you asked.

Those who must be right
This trash can’t belong to me: my beliefs and choices are right, after all. The problem must lie with you, him, her, them, or it. As I can’t change any of you, there is nothing I can do about the trash. It’s “you” that is wrong and, therefore, you who must change.

Adam to God: Fruit? What fruit? he exclaims, with juice dripping from his lips.  Hey, I didn’t do anything wrong. Talk to that woman You gave me.

Those who need to be a victim
I need the trash, as it verifies my victimhood. Please, feel sorry for me, and admire how well I am doing in spite of the trash that all these other people have created for me. Do you want to hear about my wounds again?

Adam to God: That woman You gave me? It was her fault!
Eve to God: It was that snake Satan’s fault!

Those who need to feel good about themselves
Here the trash is somehow justified or willfully ignored, as the individual fights to maintain her self-image. “It’s good … it’s all good! Nothing to see here: move along! I am really doing well, thank-you.”

Adam to himself: It’s good. I am like God now, as I can see good and evil. That’s not trash; that’s a treasure! WooHoo!

Those who have established good-intentions as the only standard of evaluation
My heart was right. I meant well. I can’t help the outcome, here. (This is a tried and true justification for trash created by politicians. Only they won’t even cop to the trash!) Somehow it will all work out because my heart was right. And even if it doesn’t work out, well, my intentions were good … and would you please stop bleeding all over my carpet! This evasion is akin to, “I did my best, what more can you expect!”

Adam to himself: God just doesn’t get it. Here I was seeking to be supportive of my wife in her time of need, my heart was right … and anyway, I gave her the best two days of my life and THIS is what she does? I think I deserve an atta’ boy for not throwing her out of the garden myself.

None of these people will allow themselves to imagine a scenario where the originator of the trash is the person they see in the mirror every morning. And as long as we choose to not own the trash, to take responsibility for what is piling up all around us, it will continue to increase until we either deal with it or it destroys us … like it did to King Saul. (Israel, circa 1079-1007 BC)

The Trash Man Cometh!
While Adam has to be somewhere at top of the list of all time Trash Creator, King Saul has to at least make it to the Hall of Infamy, here. Most of you are familiar with the story from I Samuel 15:

The prophet Samuel told Saul that the bushwhacker Amalek and his kingdom were so diabolically evil that he and his people had to be destroyed, along with all the livestock. Saul? Well, let’s just say that he thought he saw a better way of attaining God’s intended outcome.

Samuel arrives at camp and Saul basically greets him with his best and most religiously acceptable “Hail and Well Met, O Mouth of God! I have done all that His Most Royal Holiness commanded.” (I did right. Fist bump!)

Samuel: Really? I can hear the bleating of sheep and the lowing of oxen. (Translation: Is that trash I smell?)

Saul: Sam, Sam, Sam, the people did slaughter most of the livestock, but decided to take the best of the sheep and oxen and sacrifice them to the Lord! Come on Sam, this is a win-win! (This is what you call a three-for: Saul was still not in the wrong – he was a victim of the people, dontchyaknow, and his heart was all for obeying God  — and, look here, the people meant well, too! “All in all, we all did right, and all our hearts were all right!” Fist bump?)

Samuel: God is done with you, ol’ son, and is going to replace you with another king. (David) Look at all that trash: you failed and you know it.

Saul: Yep, you got me. They don’t call you a prophet for nothin’! I blew it … because I feared the people! (Needs to salvage a bit of his self-image, so he deflects.)

Saul decided he knew what was best, regardless of what was commanded. The Israelites would have listened to him and he knew it. It’s all over but the thud on the floor of the throne room when your best defense is, “I know what God said, but…”

The moral of the story is, Own Your Trash And Take It Out. It’s our responsibility and, trust me here, however messy a chore it is, our lives will be so much better and filled with more joy and freedom for having done so. Sure in the world, we don’t want to wait until God sends a Samuel who makes us eat it all.   

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2013

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