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Recycling our lives
pastor corner

Pastor Jim Jackson

Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church

I was once raking leaves in my back yard when I heard a noise.  The sound was coming from behind a building next door.  I looked to the huge trash container.


What I saw appeared like a minor explosion in slow motion.  One at a time, aluminum cans cans were flying out of the container and bouncing on the pavement, creating the sound which got my attention.  The sound soon stopped and a man emerged from bowels of the container.  He crushed the cans one at a time under his shoes, tossed them into a large plastic bag and went on his way.


That enterprising fellow had found something worth keeping in someone else’s trash.  I leaned upon my rake handle and began thinking—something I don’t like to do on my day off.  But I couldn’t escape the thought: “Treasure is sometimes discovered in the strangest of places.”


I began thinking about some of  my bad times, days that had meant grief, disappointment, or failure.  Could it be that there was actually some unexplored treasure in them?


If I had only been a little more persistent or searched a little harder, might I have found something worth while even in those times?  Did I toss some worthy treasure into the heap of my life’s discards?  Were there others like the man I saw who would have been pleased just to explore the opportunities I cast aside?  Then I thought about some of the people for whom I had held little hope.  I was reminded of how a few of them were fortunate enough to have gained someone’s attention, love, encouragement, and trust.  How different these people are now in their recycled state.


Yes, it happens to cans, but it can happen also to society’s rejects and discards when somebody dares to search among the heaps of their lives with an eye for beauty and a heart of love.


Thanks, Mr. Can Man, whoever you are. 

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