"[Jesus] put another parable before them, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.'" - Matthew 13:24-26
I was driving down a local road when I saw some litter fly out the window of a truck that was just a short bit ahead of me. Being a litter-picker-upper, I moaned in my heart and shook my head.
As I caught up to the slow-moving, litter-dropping truck, I started to laugh as it became clear that not only did the truck say "City of Hoover" on the side, but it also said "LITTER CONTROL" in huge letters on a sign on the back of the truck.
Can you imagine? A Litter Control truck where the employees are throwing litter out the window?
Yes, I can imagine. I can imagine something and somebody that are supposed to be addressing a problem, and they're actually contributing to the problem.
I do it all the time.
As a Christian, I'm supposed to be addressing the sin problem in the world. Sin is like spiritual litter, if you will. But even as I'm supposed to be on the job and addressing the spiritual litter problem, the spiritual litter of sin comes flying out of the window of my life.
Why do I do this? I do it because I'm a sinner. And as I hard as I try, I myself can never stop sinning. (In the language of today's Bible verse, we all have wheat and weeds mixed together in the field that is each of our lives.) I'm sure God moans in his heart and shakes his head. But, as hard as I try, I can never stop throwing spiritual litter out of my life.
But Jesus can.
I need Jesus to come to me everyday and hop in the "truck" that is my life so he can live in me by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus alone, working in me, can put a stop to the spiritual litter problem in my life, as he and he alone is the solution, being my righteousness, making me new from the inside out, cleaning up the litter of my soul so that it can't fly out the window of my life.
So the next time, I see litter fly out of a LITTER CONTROL truck, before I'm so quick to shake my head and moan, I pray that I'll remember that that's what my life looks like to God.
May God have mercy.
And, through Jesus Christ, God already has!