Rubbish (and walking in the dark)

“So I went down to the potter’s house and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” – Jeremiah 18:3-4.

There’s not many people who would delight in rubbish. And yet, we produce masses of it as a world population (and especially in our modern, Western society) every day. Are we ashamed of it? Judging by the media and the campaigns – yes. But does it actually stop us from creating rubbish? Probably not, based on the amount of ‘stuff’ that is sold that promises to make our lives greater, easier, more exciting.

The film Wall E addresses this issue, and relates to how we treat the planet, painting a picture of what our consumer mentality could very likely result in if we do not start taking a different approach to life. Most of all, it highlights the fragility of life when a tiny plant is detected on earth and brought back to the space ship in which all human population have escaped to and where they have been residing for hundreds of years. It’s the naivety of the captain’s statement when he waters the plant and saves it from dying that made me realise how fragile our own life is – not just our physical one, but our spiritual one, and how often we neglect it and deny it the same rights as we offer our physical and emotional lives:

“Just need someone look after you, that’s all!”

It reminded me of the familiar old song, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” It reminded me of the fact that the light within us is fragile. It could go out with the slightest breeze, the slightest change of mind. It needs nurturing and protecting. But if we take care of it, it goes a long way in penetrating the thick darkness that surrounds us. The tiniest light can be the greatest source of hope to those who have never seen light before.

We have a responsibility and a purpose. A responsibility to shine that light and reveal the rubbish, to make every effort to keep that light shining, to pass it on, to feed the flame and watch it grow bigger and stronger and lighter. And to remove the rubbish.

“I don’t want to survive! I wanna live!”

When we walk without the light, there is a big chance of walking into the mess we’ve created and stubbing our toes. Removing the rubbish – asking God not to fix the old, broken rubbish in our lives, but to make something new out of it allows us to live, not just to survive. To appreciate the meaning of things in life, and to guide us and others past obstacles that we would otherwise be blind to.

“Create in me a clean heart, o God, and renew a right spirit within me.” – Psalm 51:10

It’s hard to keep the light burning. If that light is Christ, and Christ is God, and God is love, then our lights shine brightest when we love, and forgive, and let go of the things of the past, and allow ourselves to fall into a pool of love and forgiveness that was there long before we stopped doing what God commanded us to do. It’s hard when we feel the same pain of rejection that Jesus felt when the world could not understand him.

It’s hard, but not impossible. We just have to keep nurturing the light that is given to us through Jesus and feeding our spirit with His word and strength (John 6:35; John 15:4; Philippians 4:13; Matthew 11:30). And every once in a while, we need to treat our souls to a good spring clean!

“The night is nearly over, the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.” – Romans 13:12.

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