You notice that someone has dumped trash into the stream, an ugly sight. There is refuse floating on the water. Judging by some of the empty soda cans, the trash has been there awhile. And there is an ugly film on the top of the water.
You can’t just leave the scene as you found it because it would bother your conscience. So you stoop down and begin gathering the trash. It actually takes several hours before you can begin to see a difference; it’s amazing how much junk is there. You sit back, rest for a moment, and realize you’ll have to keep returning each day until the site is truly clean. Well, that’s okay; it’s a project you’ll be proud of... except that when you come back the next day, it’s as if your work has been undone.
In fact there’s more trash than before. Somehow the garbage bred overnight. You think about the unlikelihood of someone coming to this very spot to dump their garbage in the few hours while you were away, and you realize that something smells fishy, so to speak. So you begin to follow the creek upstream.
Sure enough, you come to a garbage dump that has been there for years. It’s emptying into the passing creek. Your cleaning job only opened up a gap for more stuff to settle. You could go and clean every day, but it would just be like pushing a boulder up the hill and watching it roll back down again. Which is surprisingly fun, but, really, what’s the point?”
Cleaning up a mess is something we have to do almost every day. Whether or not the mess is big or small, it still needs to be dealt with, but knowing the source is the key. If you know where the mess or difficulty is coming from then you will have a greater chance of fixing and cleaning it up. If not, you will continue to deal with it for as long as you choose.
We all have had, or do have, garbage hidden away in our hearts. We try to fix what people see but we can’t fix it without going to the source. We have to find the source of that garbage and clean it up there, so we can stop it from flowing downhill toward others. But can we fix it on our own?
A lot of times we like to think that we can keep it hidden and no one will know. I can handle it…I don’t need help…It’s not that big of a deal... Whatever excuse we come up with, garbage is garbage and we all have it. It all must be cleaned up in order to go to heaven.
Jesus came and gave His life to pay for that garbage that has piled up in our lives. He offers to not just clean up the little mess, but to clean it up at the source. To clean it all, once and for all.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” So what kind of river is flowing out of your heart? Is it one full of trash? Or is it one full of life? What’s your source?