A plastic bag is stuck in my elm tree. It’s too high for me to reach it, and I’m way past the days when I shinnied up the bark of my favorite tree and journaled while talking to the birds. I’m not climbing up there to pull it down.
I don’t know how to get this nasty old plastic bag out of my tree, so I’ll have to just wait until another Kansas storm blows through and somehow unfastens it from that particular branch.
But I hate how it spoils the beauty of nature – that white plastic in the middle of all those beautiful green leaves and the occasional crimson of my cardinals. I hate how the manufacturing of our plastic world has ruined nature’s purity.
I wonder if God also hates how we have ruined his lovely world. Black smoke pours from factory chimneys and discolors his turquoise sky. Tin cans litter mountain streams. Junk food clogs up the arteries of his most prized creation, the ones he created on the sixth day and declared that we were, “Very good.”
The junk of our sins that we so easily invite into our lives destroys trust in relationships and casts dark shadows on generations of children. Addictions, murder, gossip – all these and more create a blight on the purity of God’s plan and keep us from living the abundant life our souls crave.
Yet we can’t seem to do anything about it. Just like the plastic bag in my tree. Our cruelties to each other and our weaknesses within ourselves keep waving at us a reminder that nature and life is not as it should be.
We wait for the next storm and hope it will somehow release us and make everything all right again.
Sometimes I grow so tired of all the trappings of junk. It’s easy to lose hope when I recognize the root of evil traipsing across my television and spot it in myself as well. There but for the grace of God go I.
Reverend G reminds us how fragile life is and how quickly it can change. “All human beings live with the same predicament. We occupy our bodies, our workplace and our homes until God says, ‘Time’s up. Come home.’ Then a bullet rings out or cancer swallows the last healthy cell or a blood clot races to the heart and we’re done.
“The only way to focus on life and not lose hope is to remember that each day matters. Live in the current moment, which occupies an undetermined number of minutes. Smile, hug our loved ones and bless God by serving him every day. Then when that bullet, that cancer cell or that blood clot knocks on the door—we’re ready to leave.”
So I guess that’s the answer to my plastic sack problem and all the impurities of our world. Trust God to make it right some day, to blow through our world with his powerful grace and purify everything.
But in the meantime, do my best to keep my corner of the world clean, to serve God every day and bless others by sharing the hope he shares with me.
©2014 RJ Thesman – “Intermission for Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/1l4oGoo