2015-08-26 - His City is Beautiful
Do you live in a city or rural area? If you’re in one, do you notice the vast difference, when going to the other? I didn’t consider where I live a highly urban area, until I was reminded, more recently, of the fact it is. We visited Boone, NC where our son is attending as a junior in college this year. The population, outside of those on the college campus, is about a sixth of that of where we live in Virginia, according to the report of Wikipedia.com based on the 2010 census for that city. Therefore, as you visit, you notice many things being different. One of the main things I noticed is how “clean” it is there. I don’t recall one bit of trash lying on the ground as we walked on campus, or even in the area just off the main campus, where there are local restaurants and shops. It was a refreshing change of pace, that came to the forefront of my mind later that same evening, as I stopped by the grocery near our home, to grab a few items to start of the next week. The ground was littered with receipts, cigarette butts, old drink containers and other wrappers from food items. I found myself highly disgusted. Very often, when there’s a bit of trash when I am passing going through a parking lot, I will pick it up and toss in in a trash can going into a store. This time, there were so many items, I could have easily spent thirty minutes doing nothing but cleaning up, and I wondered why no one working at the store did so, in their many trips to go retain the shopping carts. Do they not have time, or is it just not a priority? And how much of the mess is accidental or resulting from trash removal and wind, and how much of it is a person just throwing things down, thinking someone else will clean it up?
The fact is that we are charged by our father in heaven, to take care of what he gives us, yet he warns us of what can happen when we get in more urban areas, which seem to permeate an attitude of carefree living with less disciplined focus. Jesus went up on mountaintops, to regroup and pray, but then came down among the people. I really can’t see him throwing things down, expecting others to pick up after him. It’s easy to get in group situations, and develop a change of behavior on purpose, or just without thinking. However, we need to keep focused on doing the right thing, and setting the example - not to draw attention to ourselves. We need to do it so God will get the glory. So even if we never have a direct conversation with someone, they will see that we care, and at least wonder why. We have to do more than be disturbed by things that are wrong, but we have to have it affect us enough to do something to change it. We can change it, one wrapper and cigarette butt into the trash, at a time. In a slightly different context, a song made popular by Eric Clapton says “If I could change … the world.” You can! And then one day, things will again be as God intended.
“Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!” (Isaiah 5:8)
All scripture references are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.