Two months ago our family moved into the big city from our small rural village. While we are still adjusting to the background noises of the city live, we are enjoying being close to the different amenities of city.
One of which is a great city park walking distance from the house. Rare is the day that our son isn’t trying to get us to go over to the park so that he can play on the slides, swings and monkey bars.
The crazy thing about the park is that it seems that there is always trash scattered around the play area, tables and throughout the grassy fields nearby. I know the city park crew is trying hard to keep up with picking up the trash; yet it seems that folks are littering faster than the park crew can pick things up.
In chewing over this problem, our small group (i.e. our family and one other family with two young kids) decided to leave the comfort of our home Bible study and start picking up trash every other week. In doing so we are not only teaching our children the value of loving others and engaging the community around them, but we are also fighting the spiritual battle of selfishness, laziness, and waste that fuels the littering issue. In picking up trash we declaring that God’s rule of love, kindness and self-deny is entering that piece of earth.
It may sound strange to some ears, but to us the act of picking up trash goes beyond the physical world and deep into the spiritual. The two are interwoven and can never be unwound; hence the selfless act of a child of the King defeats the selfish act of sin that caused someone to throw a piece of trash on the ground.
In addition to fighting a spiritual war, we have the opportunity to pray over the park and the families that visit it as we walk around. So far we have only had two park-clean up days, but I am looking forward to doing this every other week throughout the summer. Who knows, perhaps one day someone will ask us what we are doing and we will have the chance to tell them that Jesus loves his creation. Perhaps no one will say a word.
Either way, I’m excited about what the Creator King will do within and through us. It should be a good summer. 🙂