To be honest I’ve never been one for dropping litter. Since the day my Mum scolded my tiny hands for doing so, these words of wisdom and environmental care have remained with me ever since:
“Keiran, who is going to come and clear that up if you don’t pick it back up? Just hold on to your rubbish until you find a bin”
I often cringe when I see children and adults alike, carelessly dropping litter. I wonder “have they no care for the environment? “. I remember the days when in year 8 at school, when I would pick up my friends litter, give it back to them and tell them to put it in the bin. It actually worked at the time, but I can hardly say Ive continued to be an examplary ‘keep-Britain-tidy Hero’ over the last 12 years. Interestingly, today I found myself kicking a foil ball as I left my work office in Edgbaston (See Picture). With each kick, the foil got further and I began to get more creative with how I kicked it. It may sound “sad”, but at the time it was actually quite fun. I kicked it a final time, because I knew at the end of the road, I would be turning the corner and catching the bus. Then the thought hit me:
“Keiran, youre not going to leave your rubbish on the floor are you???”
My immediate thought-response was “well its not my rubbish”, but for some reason, my consience just wouldn’t allow that. Having spent some good-quality time with the foil ball, I would only be lying to myself saying I felt no responsibility. Besides I highly doubted the original owner of the foil was intent on returning to collect it. So I picked it up. Now feeling like Mr-Do-Gooder, Im-a-Hero-again, I popped the foil ball into the bin as I was walked past the first bustop. This whole object lesson highlights a larger issue which we all face; RESPONSIBILITY. It is said that whilst the first sin committed was eating the forbidden fruit, the SECOND was the inability to accept responsibility. It is easy to blame others: Not so easy to take responsibility. I have learnt that I should,
‘Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.’ Galatians 6:2
Ultimately, Jesus Christ has taken on responsibility for our mistakes! The raw appreciation of this loving act is better grasped when we take on some form of responsibility for others. We all are called to ‘stand in the gap’ and to ‘help others’ (Hover over Jeremiah 22:30 and Isaiah 59:16).
The amazing thing is that when we obey the Holy Spirit of God, who speaks through our conscience to instruct us to do things outside of our comfort zone, we develop a greater appreciation for Gods love for us.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:” 1 Peter 4:12-14