Page 238 was a half day of work as I took time to get some rest before the Friday double-shift that comes tomorrow. The day began with the usual cleaning and building prep as I got things ready for the start of another school day. As I swept and took out trash, I thought about the continual nature of these tasks. With school in session, every morning there are bathrooms to clean, floors to sweep, and trash to take out. I suppose some might say those things aren’t necessary every day, but it is in doing these tasks every day that they remain manageable. In our lives, when we deal with the cleaning, sweeping, and removal of trash on a daily basis, or even more often, we find the problems we face are not as likely to get out of hand. At least in my experience, most of the temptation we face starts out as small amounts of “dirt” and “trash”, What we do, or don’t do, with it immediately determines how much it “grows”. Most mornings, taking the trash out requires two trips to the dumpster. Multiply that times five and you can begin to see how quickly the trash would accumulate if it wasn’t taken care of on a regular basis.
We would do well to spend time each day examining the words we have spoken, the words we have listened to, the things we have shared on social media, the things on social media we have allowed our eyes and thoughts to dwell on, the anger and pride that has crept into our heart and mind, the selfish thoughts and desires that seek to exclude the needs of others, and so many other temptations that come our way every day. As we spend time with God examining such details, it should become apparent the cleaning that needs done and the trash that needs removed. I have learned that in keeping the trash out of my life, it is best to not even view anything that is shared on social media with the disclaimer, “this is great, but excuse the language”. If there is a thought that the language is not appropriate, then it is not great — it is trash! Somehow we think that because it is such a small bag of trash that it is okay to not only leave it in our life, but we begin to see no problem in sharing it with others. Satan is an expert in taking whatever small foothold we allow him to have in our life and stretching it into more and more control over us the longer we allow that foothold to exist. If we don’t mind a “small bag of trash” spread out in our life, each day he will add a little more to it until our life is so covered in filth that we begin to believe cleaning up is impossible. Fortunately, there is power through the blood of Jesus to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. When we cling to that promise each day, we find that the dirt of this world is swept away before it can create an ugly stain in our life.
Later in the day, as I worked on grilling supper, I shot some more photos of birds and butterflies that stopped by my front yard for a visit. Today’s photo is a finch helping herself to some sunflower seeds. They are fun to watch as they keep a tight grip on the plant and appear to pluck the seeds one by one from the sunflower head. I rarely see a seed drop to the ground as their focus is not only on getting the good seed, but on keeping it.
I pray that you and I would examine our lives on a regular basis for any trash that we may have allowed to linger. I pray that we would allow the blood of Jesus to cleanse us as we seek the help of His Spirit in cleaning and purifying our hearts and minds. I pray that we would pay attention not only to the trash that tries to creep into our lives, but also to the ways in which we might be spreading trash into the lives of others. I pray that we would keep focused, with the power of God’s Spirit, on maintaining a life of purity in our thoughts, words, and actions.