One of my favorite rituals is taking out the garbage. I know that’s kinda weird. Sunday nights I walk the 200 feet down our gravel driveway, pulling the black two-wheeled plastic garbage can behind me. I park it next to our mailbox at the side of the road, and often stop to take in the evening. We’re blessed to live where there are no streetlights and almost no traffic.
In summer, I look to the west and marvel at how the sky is still light so late. In winter, I often turn and trudge right back up to the house, the icy wind taking away my desire to savor my surroundings. I love to look up at the stars and moon when the sky is clear. I love walking back up the driveway beneath the canopy of trees and seeing our cozy little house perched around the corner at the top of the hill.
It was late April, 2012. I brought the garbage down and turned back up the driveway. About twenty feet into my journey I stopped, looked up at the night sky, and thought about how content I was with life. Things were going well. I felt a twinge of fear--does this mean something bad is about to happen? I grew up thinking that way, which is not a good thing.
The next day I was called into my principal’s office and informed that my contract wouldn’t be renewed the next year. That thumping sound you hear is me being thrown under the bus.
A year later, on that same late April Sunday night, I took note of the date as I brought a couple small plastic bags of garbage into the hallway of our apartment in Kiev. I crept up the half flight of stairs to the garbage chute, looking to see if anyone was sitting at the top of the next flight smoking, as was often the case. I opened the chute and stuffed in the bags, being careful not to inhale. Shuffling back to our apartment, I thought of how much I missed my garbage runs back home.
Last Sunday night I wheeled the can down once again. Twenty feet up the driveway, I froze in my tracks, realizing it was this same Sunday two years ago when I stood at the same spot and contemplated my contentment with life, while pushing down that fear of bad stuff happening. It was almost overwhelming to think about where my life has taken me these past two years. I felt thankful to be back home, and very content and happy with my life.
The big difference between last Sunday and two years ago was the lack of fear. I actually said out loud, “Thank GOD I got delivered from that job!” My life is so much better than it would’ve been had I not been thrown under the bus two years ago. Something that seemed so bad at the time turned out to be a huge blessing. Sounds a lot like Genesis 50:20.
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