In 2010 Wisconsin just barely managed to see a white Christmas. While Wisconsin went almost unscathed by the recent bad weather other parts of the country such as New York were hammered.
The snow in New York was so bad that even some of the snow plows needed to be towed out of the places where they had gotten stuck.
One of the national news crews aired home video of a snowplow being towed and repeatedly hitting a parked van in the process as the owners looked down. Hundreds of people got stuck on the A train for hours and there were more car accidents than police and paramedics could reasonably attend to.
It took days for the snow to be clears from the main and side streets. Cars everywhere were plowed in by the snowplowing efforts and were unable to move from the places they were parked before the snow fell.
To make matters worse, because the snow had not been plowed the garbage had not been collected. Unlike Wisconsin, New York does not issue carts for their garbage, they simply put the garbage bags on the street.
Days passed and the uncollected garbage rose exponentially and people began to complain. The city was in an uproar, and typical to many community issues the finger pointing took precedence over the creation of a solution.
The mayor blamed the work crews for working too slow, the work crews blamed the mayor for worker cutbacks due to budget shortfalls, and the residence blamed them all. Meanwhile, the garbage just continued to pile up.
While the weather made for a dreary outdoor experience, there was a man having a dreary internal experience. Vangelis made the decision to end his life.
He was facing eviction and had other problems that made his feel hopeless. So Vangelis opened his window and felt the cold wind as he maneuvered his body through the window to what he thought would be his death.
As he jumped from his ninth floor apartment to commit suicide he was saved by the uncollected trash that had piled up and dominated the street and sidewalk below. God used the trash.
Now please don’t get me wrong, there were consequences to his actions. He’s injured. Very injured, and if he thought he faced financial hardships before, when he gets the hospital bill he will realize that he would have been better off closing the window, having a cup of coffee and calling a friend or taking time to pray before making such a life changing decision. Never the less, God used the trash keep Vangelis from dying.
Isn’t it just like God to use the things others have discarded to rescue us from a worse injury? Perhaps you did not get the job of your dreams only to find out the company you wanted to work for so badly closed 6 months later.
Perhaps the love of your life chose another and as you matured and saw them later in life you THANKED GOD you did not marry them after all. What once seemed like a “trash experience” now is revealed as the hand of God protecting you from a great fall. While our choices do have consequences,
I believe all of us can at least testify that we’ve been cushioned from a great fall at least once in our lives. Joss Stone said it best when she said, “we’re bruised but not broken.”
This week, don’t wallow in the trash of past mistakes or failures and resist the urge to get lost in reliving missed opportunities or failures. Close the window of the past and make new fresh decisions and choices that help you build for an even better future.