I recycle! Each and every Wednesday my green recycling tub is eagerly set out on the curb for pick up. I have learned what can, and what can’t, be thrown into the bin and try to be diligent in my efforts. You would think that my motivation is that I love the earth and I want to do my part to preserve it. That is the good answer, but if I am really honest it has nothing to do with that. It is all about the….trash bags. I know this sounds ridiculous. Who recycles just so they don’t waste trash bags.
I am not totally crazy, the things that I recycle are typically big things. Pizza boxes, newspapers, egg cartons…these things take up a lot of space in my trash can. The more I can reduce my trash load, the less often I run out of trash bags.
Trash bags are what I refer to as, “oh crap” items. I go to the store and get everything we need for the week and get home before I realize that I forgot the trash bags. “O crap!” Then I am stuck using the plastic bags that I just pulled my groceries out of until I make it back to the store to get some trash bags. It is not that recycling eliminates my forgetting the trash bag problem, it simply reduces the reoccurrence of it. I run out of trash bags less often!
I wonder how often this happens in my spiritual life. I do the things that God wants me to do, but I do them because it is convenient or because it makes my life easier. My motivation is not out of love for the Lord, but rather out of selfish ambition. This just isn’t good enough! 1 John 5:3 has always been one of my favorite verses. “This is love for God; to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” Sometimes God will call me to do hard things, inconvenient things. Am I willing to do them out of my love for him, or am I going to opt for the easy way out?