Taking out the Garbage

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"               ~ Micah 6:8

Mondays are the day that the garbage gets taken out.  It goes into the garbage can just outside of our garage.  My father-in-law then loads it into his T-Rex and hauls it down our long driveway to the lane which leads to the main road where the garbage truck picks it up.   Every other week he also hauls down the recycling that is accumulated and put into the big blue bin.  Then, on the following day, he goes back down to pick up the empty garbage cans and bring them back up to the house.   He does this every week, without fail, unless he is on vacation.

Another thing that my FIL does is mow the grass.  This isn't some small job of a suburban back yard.  He does mow my backyard but when I talk about 'the grass' I mean acres of grass.  We have two fields that he mows on his John Deere that takes him hours.  This would probably take him less time but we have hundreds of evergreen trees and then also fruit trees that he has to navigate around.  And don't get me started on the mole problem because he has declared war on them.

Now my FIL doesn't have to do these things but he does them in order to help out around this place.  He is faithful in these tasks and others that come up.  He doesn't do this half heartedly but with precision because that is how God has wired him.  I'm sure that his motto is, "If you are going to do a job, do it right or not at all".

For most people life if just ordinary.  One can start to think that what they do has no significance in the Kingdom of God.  But I will beg to differ.  Consider how many years our Lord lived before his ministry on this earth started.  There were a whole lot of something going on and it probably wasn't feeding the five thousand.  Jesus also was the son of a carpenter and probably made some ordinary things for the family.  Do you think he cleaned up his own messes?  He had to eat, sleep and wash himself.  These were ordinary things even though he wasn't so.  There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus was faithful to do what was set before him.

Think of our own lives.  Most of us live day in and day out doing the same things and don't have a whole lot of extra-ordinary things to present to the world.  In fact, in our life span we probably won't be the ones who change the world or solve world hunger. No epicness (realizing that this probably isn't a word) or awesomeness.  Just everyday, scrub the toilet, kind of people.

Best intentions don't really mean a hill of beans to most of humanity.  But. . . . .  to the Lord faithfulness is a big deal.  Now, I realize that He is the only One who is truly faithful.  But at the same time this is what He calls us to do and be.  What does it mean to be faithful in the everyday?  Do you have children?  They can be taught what it is to love God and their neighbor.  Are you single?  How wonderful is it to be able to devote your time and energy, singularly, to Christ who has set you free from the tyranny of sin.  What does your life look like on the job?  There is always somebody watching to see if what you do is for selfish reasons or for something bigger, larger than what is physically set before you.  Marriage has numerous avenues in which the Lord can be magnified and glorified.  God works in even what we consider the little things of life.  They aren't little to Him if done with a conscious effort to live for Him.  If we were to look closely we would be amazed at the work of God in the ordinary things of life.  Many times even these things turn towards the extra ordinary as God moves through us.

Here is an example:  I know a man who was faithful to go to work everyday at the dock yards in Portland.  His job wasn't amazing or something that he had a passion for but it was one that provided the needs for his young growing family.  It was a dirty job and many of the men he worked with were coarse and sometimes vulgar.  There was a lunch room at this place and he would go there most days to eat his lunch.  In this particular lunch room there were some not-so-nice pictures that were tacked on the ceiling.  This man made a point never to look up at them and kept his eyes diverted from them.   A simple thing so that he would not dishonor his God.  He didn't think anyone was watching but there was.  Everyday another was keeping his eye on this man because it was known that he was a believer in Christ.  The second man was waiting because he knew that at some point this Christian would slip up and then he would pounce.  It never happened.  Many days and weeks this went by and the unbeliever became curious.  The unbeliever approached the believer and asked him why he never looked up at the nasty pictures.  From that conversation one believer became two believers.  A year later there were around a dozen believers which led to a Bible study.  All because one man chose to be faithful in this small thing to honor his Savior.  His job was still dirty and there weren't any accolades or press conferences.

Every life has meaning even if it seems insignificant.   For the Christian, everything in your life not only has meaning but purpose too.  If Christ has ransomed you then everyday can be an excursion into   fulfilling the purpose that He has intended for you.  There are no small jobs in the Kingdom of God.  But there is a call to be faithful servants.  Christ is calling to those who will give their life away in order that He might be glorified (even if He is the only one who sees it).  If you are called then he will help you to perform those tasks He has called you to (Psalm 119:32).  This is Kingdom work.

So as I think of my own life it does consist of everyday things.  I do take out the garbage and clean the kitchen each day for the meal that I will prepare for the family.  Its an on-going job of organizing the household and, currently, I'm painting the walls that are grungy with grime of a life well spent.  The dog needs to be fed and the garden needs to be weeded.  There are groceries to be bought and clothes to be cleaned.  There are phone calls to make and burdens to bear.  There are joys to be had (children and grandchildren for sure) in the everyday, ordinary existence of my human life.

In Matthew 25 Jesus tells the story of the talents.  Each servant was given the responsibility of a certain amount of them.  Some servants were faithful to use what God had given them and another wasn't.  At the end of the age I want to hear my Savior say to me, "Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.  Enter into the joy of your master."

Come Monday morning I will take out the garbage once again so that my FIL will, once again, take it down the road to be picked up.  This week I hope to thank him for being faithful to do this every week for us.  It means a great deal to me and I like to think it means something to Him as well.


  1. I am so thankful for you, your dear husband and your in-laws. I am so thankful you are all part of my family. You are such a wonderful example of faithfulness to those around you. I would hope that I can also live a faithful life. Thank you, Judy for your example.

  2. Great Post. I think many of us will relate to it. Thanks, Sister Jan.

  3. I liked it. I know this garbage man very well.
    Perhaps I'll see him on Monday afternoon.
    He's a good scout..

  4. Thank you for reminding me of something that I sometimes can loose sight of. You are inspiring Miss Judy. It's also never too late to begin a faithful and thankful journey.

  5. Thank you for sharing this, Judy. I think we all have those moments where we wonder if our life is counting for the Lord. Even for me, living in India, I have many days of thinking that what I do is puny, but God knows and it means something to Him. Blessings to you, dear sister in the Lord!