Don't Waste Your Life
Have you ever cleaned a bar ditch? I used to mow along side the major road that leads to our neighborhood street, because it always needed it and I thought it helped make the neighborhood look neat and tidy. But unless you have ever picked up the trash from along side a road, you may not have any idea what all you find.
For instance, if you collected all the bottles, glass and plastic, 70-80% are beer bottles. The same ratio is good for aluminum cans. There are empty cigarette packs and used up cigarette lighters. There are snuff cans, dirty diapers, papers and envelopes, cardboard boxes and a lot of fast food styrofoam cups, lids and straws, usually all still attached. Often there are fast food sacks, with all the trash left over from a fast food meal, including unused ketchup.
Sometimes, you find a whole trash bag, full of household garbage. You even find things that maybe weren't disposed of purposefully, but fell off a vehicle, like a book or even a cell phone. And the list of other small things you find is absolutely endless.
By the time I would finish picking up the trash each time so that I could mow, I'd usually be pondering why people chose to throw it out of their window for someone else to pickup up? Why could they not just be responsible, and wait till they got where they were going and find a trash can? Why would they be so careless and inconsiderate? Yet week after week for 6 months or more, for several years in a row, I'd clean up the same stretch of road, and find basically the same things over and over again, likely from many of the same people.
I'm not really looking for answers to why people throw litter, but I believe it demonstrates something about humans in general, whether they litter or not. Many, perhaps, have never been taught about personal responsibility, and don't understand the consequences of their actions. In my example above, I spent time cleaning up messes created by some else. But the responsible sector of our society has to spend time and resources that could be put to better use elsewhere and a great deal of money to clean up after people that don't do it for themselves, and I'm not talking about trash in the ditch.
I'm not talking about those in our population who can't see after themselves, I'm referencing those who can, but simply wont act responsibly! The police and courts will tell you that they often times deal with the same people over and over again. Repeat offenders, who can't seem to break away from irresponsible behavior. Scripture teaches that people like this need to know God and His Word.
There are so many passages in scripture that talk about personal responsibility. Most are directed toward Christians to keep us responsible, obviously so that we will conduct ourselves in a proper manner. But without any doubt, non-Christians would benefit tremendously by being responsible as well.
It is not just the Christian who is better off if they keep drugs and excessive alcohol out of their bodies. Every human being would be better off to be drug free. Christians are told to present their bodies as living sacrifices (Rom 12:1). Avoiding immorality and uncontrolled behavior would benefit the entire human race. Immoral conduct often spreads disease, sometimes fatal disease, and accounts for unwanted pregnancies, not to mention fracturing families.
Uncontrolled anger alone can lead to assault, violence and sometimes murder. Excessive drinking can lead to alcoholism, and if not to that extreme, often encourages irresponsible behavior in general and contributes to a number of other things that result, like injury, crime, theft and property destruction. Scripture identifies some irresponsible activities, jealousy, fits of rage (fights), envy, idolatry, drunkenness, orgies, and the like just to name a few. If everyone were able to live up to Galatians 5:19-21, certainly these type of problems would become minuscule in our society.
Where scripture says "whatever one sows, that will he also reap" (Gal 6:5-18) it was written to help Christians sow properly, but it is most certainly true for all humans, both believers and non-believers alike. The follow-up verse to that says, "for the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption". That's pretty black and white, and reinforces those things we mentioned above. Daily sowing that results in corruption reveals that something very important is missing in one's life, those things that God would prefer us to lay hold to, good things that are wholesome, beneficial and righteous. Paul contrasts that to the alternative in this same verse to say, "but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life".
If you are guilty of throwing away the important things in your life, as if they were worthless, to be discarded for someone else to have to deal with, I beg you to reconsider. Eternal Life is what God has to offer. Heaven is worth working for, and God loves you now, and values your soul today, even if you have yet to call on Him. It requires some lifestyle changes, where you let go of the world and hold on to what is good, believe in Jesus and God the Father, and start sowing in a way that will reap righteous things in your life instead of worldly troublesome things. The gift of eternal life is so precious that no matter how hard we must work to change our habits, it is worth every effort we make. God is calling? God is always calling?