It all started with an empty water bottle.
My son's school is an eight minute walk from our house and we've enjoyed this little bit of time every morning and afternoon to talk about life. It's actually a very precious time walking him to school each day, hearing his nine year old thoughts. One day as I walked home by myself I noticed an empty water bottle on the curb and reasoned I was just about a block from home, why not pick it up and be five cents richer when I take my recyclables. So I did.
Fast forward about a month. My sons and I were at a local miniature golf center enjoying a gift certificate from my mother in law. Actually, they were enjoying it, I was watching them. Somewhere around the eighth hole I noticed a half filled water bottle sitting next to the ten foot fairway. Side note for total transparency: I had to google "parts of a golf course" to know what the fairway was called. Once again I figured it would do me no harm to carry this bottle until we went home. So I picked it up and placed it in my purse.
A few holes and several dozen strokes later (because every miniature golf course is par-whatever-I-swing when you are a child) I looked down to see a perfectly clean, mostly empty water bottle just inside a rather empty trash can. It was a straight shot down, and I new I could grab the water bottle without touching the sides of the trash can. I stood looking at it and laughed realizing how much I felt like George Costanza: "It was sort of on top... above the rim."
And I heard God speak to me so clearly as I reached the length of my arm into that trash can. How was I willing to reach down so low for something that has only a five cent value when I was willing to do so little for those of endless value to Him?
"Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31, NASB
By this past Sunday I was a full blown recycling novice, reading articles online and checking our city's municipal code to determine where I could legally collect and where I could not. At the neighborhood park there were lots of abandoned bottles and cans. As I walked further and further into the park, literally to corners I had never visited before, I realized I had reached a point few would in their recycling efforts. Lots of people care about recycling (even I've avidly recycled at home for years) but few would walk a couple miles out of their way for it.
Again I heard God. The road gets more narrow the further you go; fewer people will walk it.
"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:13-14, NASB
I don't know where God is leading me these days, and I choose to be okay with that. I pray that where ever it is - because it is so rarely where I think it will be - that I will be obedient to His calling and go eagerly to those places so that more will hear of this great love of God's that reaches down to the bottom of the filthiest trash can to rescue those with no other hope.