"Who wants to go on a ride with me?" My father would tease each Saturday.
"I do, I do." I would say.
Dad knew my older sisters were just too girly to want to ride in his old pick-up truck, down the dusty road, in the hot sun and go to the dumps with him. It seemed their princess noses were too sensitive and just the mere thought of having to smell all of that rotting garbage made them wrinkle them up in disgust.
But, not me! I loved my weekly trips to the dumps with dad. In fact, the smell did not bother me at all!
Sometimes dad would bring just the garbage and yard waste and I would watch the men throw the trash into a big pit. Other times he brought the garbage and old furnishings, electronics, and other household items that were no longer wanted or needed.
It always amazed me when the workers would come out and start to dig through the piles of garbage looking for the useless items that people left behind. I watched as they sifted and sorted through all the trash and placed what my dad called junk, into piles on the side of the garbage pit.
I guess I was too young to understand that other people's trash would become another person's treasure!
Over the years, I grew out of my love of going to the dumps with my dad. First, like my older sisters, I must of grown a princess nose too, because I could not stand the stench anymore and secondly, I found myself too busy digging around in my own trash.
As a teenager, I often found myself down in the dumps and many times, I would fall into the pit of depression. For years, I laid in a heap of self-pity, telling myself that I stunk, life stunk, and everything and everyone around me stunk too.
I carried the negative feelings with me until I was in my early twenties. As a young Christian woman, I knew my thoughts were unhealthy and ungodly. I knew that my life should be composed of piles of joy not depression, mounds of pleasure not self-pity, and tons of love not self-loathing.
I had to sift and sort through all the junk I was holding on to and give it over to the Lord. Turning to God I asked Him to help me live a life pleasing to Him. I wanted to have a life scented with His mercy and kindness, not reeking with the ungrateful spirit that kept me in my pit.
I gave God all of my unneeded and unwanted trash, all my garbage, and all the rubbish I had told myself and in return, He gave me the treasures of hope, assurance, and forgiveness.
It seems that I did not mind the smell of my own garbage until I got a whiff of it and realized just how much I must have stunk to God. Now when things start to smell, I look around to see what junk I need to get rid of and then I give it to the Lord and let Him turn my trash into His heavenly treasures.
Deborah Ann Belka
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
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