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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Taking out the Garbage!
Date Posted: September 25, 2004

Each Thursday morning a large, loud vehicle lumbers down our street and everyone under the age of six gets excited and stares in fascination out the front window as the air brakes bring it to a squeaking-whooshing halt and a guy in a fluorescent T-shirt jumps out and attaches a large trash receptacle to the back. The kids point and squeal as it gets dumped into the truck. Then it's time for a mad dash to the side window to watch the scene repeated at the neighbor's house. (This is often a good time to sneak off for some quiet time. They won't miss you 'til it turns the corner at the end of the block!)

I get amused at the way my kids react to something as mundane and offensive as the garbage truck. It was quite a sight when I had a home day care and five or six of them would crowd in front of the window as the truck came down the street.

But I remember one month when I forgot to pay the garbage collector and they didn't stop. My husband was not thrilled to get out the extra garbage can to store two weeks' worth of trash. So as unexciting and loudly annoying as the garbage truck may be, we need it to stop every week.

Does our excitement over God's grace fade with the years like the elation over the garbage truck as we grow up? I'm afraid it often does.

But what happens if we don't take out our trash regularly by praying, repenting, praising and being in fellowship with other Christians? The result will stink up our lives -- bad habits, resentment, discontent and temptation will bury us.

God doesn't want that garbage of sin in our lives. So even though he hates it, he graciously and lovingly gave us His son to pick up the trash and put it where neither He nor we have to look at it or be offended by it. (Psalm 103:12)

In 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 Paul says, "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other the fragrance of life."

We know the aroma of Christ is pleasing and pure, not tainted by any of the garbage of sin, and we need others to notice that aroma as well. So when you hear that truck coming this week, reflect on whether you've taken out the spiritual garbage for the day.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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