A child, learning the Our Father, recited loudly, “Forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.” I guess he had the right idea. What we are asking forgiveness for is really trash. All sin is. But what about others “putting trash in our baskets.”
There was a time when trash was not packaged like presents but put loosely in a container. The trash collectors had a difficult time and a, unpleasant and sometimes hazardous task when emptying garbage food, and paint materials. Each family had its own way of putting things out. Some had boxes; some paper bags, and often wet or slimy material spilled out on the sidewalk. It was not unusual for a family to put their more stinky things in someone else’s trash can. Paint is a good example. If your family had a metal can, and we were using a cardboard box, it was mighty tempting to put our paint in your trash container. Not many did it without asking, but even so, the cleanup was tough.
Strangely enough today we encourage and pay others to put trash in our spiritual baskets. We do not monitor our own TV viewing. We use language which would have brought a bar of soap mouthward when we were children.
We are allowing and inviting others to put trash in our baskets without calling to mind what we said to youngsters. “What you put in your head will stay there forever, and will influence your decisions. Be sure the things you see, and say, and do are good. Not just OK, but good!
Since you and I are children of God, we can certainly follow the good advice we gave children. We will never grow up in the eyes of God. We will always be his cherished children. Sweet and loving things ought always outweigh crime and gore. Crime does not require strength. Resisting crime does. Gentleness is harder to attain than gunfighting.
Check what you are viewing. Does it make you a better person, or do you have to fight the thoughts that come because you are trying to resist what ought not have been part of your thoughts anyway.
It is only a few weeks until Ash Wednesday and Lent. Now is not too soon to look at the trash we have been confessing. Why not try to eliminate it.