Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Parable of the Cigarette Butts

During my unfortunate incarceration, there were times when if we didn't pick up trash thrown bout the rock and gravel, also known as the tent area, we wouldn't be able to make use of the commissary. One particular day, it was closed for most of the day and a detention officer (who really had something to prove) was constantly walking around looking for garbage. She would make these very obnoxious announcements about picking up trash and they'd kinda ramble on and on. Now, let me reiterate the fact that most of the people in our area were misdemeanor offenders, DUI, drug possesion, petty offenses, and I'm convinced all of us are there to create jobs and raise money for the state/county, but that's another matter. We slept in military-style tents where the sides could be rolled up and people around could see the inside of our tents.
Anyway, I slept in a corner of the tent I was in and guys from other tents would like to hang our right outside of it and smoke. When they were done they would throw their cigarette butts and matches on the ground after having forced us to inhale their tar and carcinogen-filled fumes. Lovely. On the particular day I mentioned earlier, I decided to get up and pick up trash. As I was picking up every single tiny piece of trash, at this point it was cigarette butts, I was fuming (no pun intended) about having to pick up other peoples' cigarette butts. I hated the fact that I would have to breath in those tumor causing, teeth-staining, smelling, puking plumes of smoke (that I hate) and then have to pick up the product that caused it. I was not happy.
Then it occurred to me,

"How do you think God feels when he has to clean up YOUR mess?

Ok, Lord, got it. It was a situation where the point was definitely made. Lucky for me, God isn't like that. He's quite a bit more patient than me. He knows I do dumb things and when I fall, he kinda of just sighs and says, "Come on, get back up." He doesn't even tell me to stop crying.

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