My Astros are set to lose about 110 games it looks like. They've traded away everyone whose name I actually recognize, have a second baseman the size of our junior high students, and couldn't pitch air conditioners in Phoenix. But, to quote that classic line from A League of Their Own, "There's no crying in baseball."
And this morning I saw another place there's no crying: Philippians 3. Paul says he counts everything loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus. O, for that attitude and perspective in my life! To know Him as the treasure of treasures and pleasure of pleasures! He's far better than what the world has to offer and, therefore, to trade anything to gain Him is a win.
And here's the statement that got me: "For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ..."
Suffer. Loss. Those are sad words. No one loves to suffer. No one loves loss. Grief comes with loss. Brokenness comes with suffering. I can't remember the last time I spoke with someone in my office who was in the midst of suffering and loss who didn't at least get misty-eyed if not go to full-on weeping.
Paul? He suffered the loss of all things. But he didn't cry, because he judged those things to be trash. No one weeps over taking out the trash except in three cases.
My mom tells a story about me weeping when the trash man took my bottle away when I was however old I was. My little blonde-headed self walked outside and watched the mean man carry away my bottle, throw it in the truck, compact it, and drive away. Babies weep when the trash goes.
There's a TV show on called Hoarders: Buried Alive. So unless you're psychologically sick, getting rid of trash is a good thing.
And now the one where it gets down for most of us. We might be immature. We might be ill. Or we just might love the stuff we are throwing away too much. We might know it needs to go but are unwilling because of some emotional, relational, financial, or spiritual attachment. We think it might be turned around and used for good because Anakin Skywalker turned out okay in the end, right? We might rationalize that it's not all that bad in the end. The grief of letting go might overwhelm us. We might buy the lie that it really can meet our needs if we'll try better or harder or differently. But the truth is: it's still trash.
So what garbage needs to go in your life? In mine?
But that's just me thinking thoughts...