Who Picks Up After You?

Sunday, May 18, 2003

2 Kings 7:15 – And they went after them unto Jordan: and lo, all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Syrians had cast away in their haste. And the messengers returned, and told the king. (KJV)

Some people pick up after themselves — and some people leave things for others to pick up after them.

Choosing not to single out age, gender, or any relationship to me, and because it seems to be a universal problem, I confess that there was a time when I, too, belonged to the "club" of these everyday, common complaints:

  • Items that make it on the hamper rather than in it.

  • Newspapers left discarded on the floor, when there's not a dog in sight in need of training.

  • Automatic dishwashers not yet perfected to the point of actually fetching the cups and plates from the table, counter, or other places.

  • Milk cartons unable to find their own way back to the fridge.

In fact, jokes abound about such things.

Worst of all are those who aimlessly discard their unwanted articles outside, littering this lovely land — given so graciously to us to live in — with no thought of who will pick up after them.

One wonders what would be the outcome were they to see their litter in monetary terms.

For instance, the stamp on a discarded envelope is better donated to a group that would sell it to a stamp collector, and use the money for charitable purposes, such as buying supplies to make dressings for cancer patients. Each Universal Product Code off containers from one of our local dairies can be converted to three cents for charities that are registered in their programme. The tabs off cans can be collected and turned into cash towards several other charitable initiatives. And of course, the can itself is worth five cents.

And what of our "spiritual litter"? Who picks up the consequences we leave when we treat people unkindly, when we act thoughtlessly, aimlessly, selfishly? Who picks up the prayers of the people we've hurt, offended, treated unkindly? And who picks us up when we see the error of our ways, and decide to change them?

How great it is that we have a God who graciously picks up after each and every one of us.

Prayer: Lord, remind us that "haste makes waste". Enable us to hear Your loving whisper, advising us to think before we speak in haste, before we discard in haste, before we act in haste. May it be that all we leave for You to pick up is our gratitude. We ask this in Your name. Amen.

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About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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