Former procrastinators, sometimes the obvious escapes us. Would you like to know two easy –to-do things that all by themselves would lessen clutter, confusion, demands, energy requirements, and frustration? At our house, doing these two simple things right away would keep us from having to “back step” and do later what was not done when it should’ve been done – thereby causing irritation and more delays in the present. Two simple things for more freedom, less bondage. We can do them ourselves, teach our children, and set the example for our co-workers. Here’s the first one:
Trash the trash.
Recognize trash for what it is and throw it away immediately. Yes, that needs to be said! When God designed our bodies, He created systems that process the good and eliminate the unnecessary or harmful. Retained, some of the latter substances can become poison. Harmful effects also result in our homes, purses, schedules.¶.
Consider some commonly spotted trash still occupying home and brain space: used tissues laying out (Really?), wadded up papers, credit card offers, dead light bulbs, bottle tops, receipts, scratched CD’s, business cards, church bulletins, supermarket fliers, broken toys, bent paper clips, plastic fast food cups, etc. Do we think these things will morph into valuable items?
Some trash is – or feels – harder to recognize. It’s “good,” but I know it won’t be used by us. Feeling guilty, I delay throwing the thing away (or, if appropriate, placing it with someone else). “One spoon of mashed potatoes, hmmm. I could eat it, but then the choice is, “waste or waist.'” It goes in the fridge occupying space and a container until it turns green and I remove it. Then my conscience is clear? Actually, with a clear conscience, I should’ve never kept it at all. There’s the coupon it would be fun to use; but I know I won’t get to that store in time. The party favor, the seeds that came with an ad.¶
It helps to be honest and courageous. Yes, it takes courage to throw some things away. “I hate to waste those good mini packets of mustard and mayonnaise.” But is it not wasteful to give space to something I will not use, allowing it to age for months and become sticky while crowding out the useful and enjoyable? Resident trash. It becomes part of the landscape. Yuck!
I should evaluate based on an item’s usefulness TO US. If an item doesn’t serve us, then donate, sell, or trash. Now!
This is a narrow but helpful application of Psalm 119:37. “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things and revive me in your way.”
It’s freeing to discern trash and remove it. Don’t let it grab your ankles! If it already has, cut it off. It’s tripping you up!
This week, what old resident trash will you recognize and throw out? What worthless newcomers will you eliminate on the spot?