In Flint, budgets cuts have led to some radical measures. In addition to laying-off law enforcement and firefighters, garbage pick-up service will only occur every other week. One of the solutions that I have considered to help avoid weeks of garbage piling up in my garage is recycling.

The only problem with choosing this route to cut down on our amount of garbage is that Flint doesn’t offer curbside recycling. Recycling in Flint is a pretty big commitment for the fine folks in our community.  There are a couple of recycling centers in the city but you have to load up your junk and haul it in yourself.

This past weekend, my wife and I decided to clean out our garage anticipating this change in city services. That and the fact that we have been collecting our recyclable materials for the last year, really packing it into our garage! I thought we were one of those committed families, dedicated to cutting down on our waste. Next week, my daughter will turn one year old. Let’s just say the focus of my commitment and dedication experienced a shift.

Saturday was a beautiful day so we decided to tackle the beast we had created in our little one car garage. The baby slept in her car seat while we took three trips back and forth between our house and the recycling center. Each time we arrived at the center I was stricken by how ugly the place was. Seriously, it looked like a scene out of a nuclear disaster movie. Lisa and I were the only ones there. The silence was deafening. The muddy parking lot was scattered with bits of trash that didn’t make into the bins. Cubes of compacted recyclables were stacked two stories high. I was waiting for guys in yellow jumpsuits and gas masks to show up at any moment. Our fear didn’t keep us from doing our part though. We finished our job and headed home to shower.

With Easter approaching, I am thinking about the suffering that Jesus experienced before he was resurrected from the dead. So much of the time we will have to experience the ugliest parts of ourselves, and of the world, before we are made into something else. Even when we go to those ugly places, God’s desire to love us and recreate our lives into something beautiful never changes. It’s sort of like recycling. Jesus can take our garbage and wrap it up into something new. He demonstrated his power when he overcame death. This is what we are celebrating at Easter.

May you be renewed during this season of celebration.

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