One Man’s Trash, Another Man’s Treasure

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23, 24).

I was sitting outside reading my morning devotions when a familiar song floated through the air to my listening ears. I had just finished praying the verse above for my husband, asking the Lord to bless him in his work. These were the words stuck in my mind, “I pray my husband has a desire to serve You and to work unto You no matter what his job title states”[i].

The next sound I heard was the lyric, “Great are You, Lord” coming from somewhere in front of my house. I could hear what sounded like a bus or a truck running, and the worship song was playing above the idling vehicle, fairly loud for the early morning hour. I started to sing along, “All the earth will shout your praise, our hearts will cry, these bones will sing, Great are You, Lord!” Then I started to cry. The words so poignantly resounded with my prayers. And all so unexpectedly. It amazed me how the song mingled with my words, lifting a sweet fragrance of prayer.

Who was this, playing this song in my front yard, at exactly this moment? I didn’t know, but I had to find out. I tip-toed carefully through the wet grass in my flip-flops to get a peek around the corner before whoever it was pulled away. What I saw surprised me further. A trash truck. A large, white, Rumpke truck in front of the neighbor’s house, and men outside of it, loading the trash, and worshipping God.

Is it just me, or is this the perfect illustration of glorifying God in our work? The work is hard – heavy lifting, dirty, smelly. Literally, garbage. Handling garbage. All day, every day. And the men are worshipping, as they work. Trash.  

I felt conviction in my spirit. The things I bemoan about my daily work. The “trash” I just want to go away because I don’t want to deal with it again today. Pray about it AGAIN today. Think about it, much less worship in it, today. Truly, my trash is often just trash. But today, my trash was transformed into treasure. Something about this scene invigorated me. Inspired me to truly want to serve the Lord in all my “garbage”.

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings, the music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas, His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world: the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere.

Emphasis: everywhere.

A paean of praise rises, even in the rumble of a Rumpke truck. Treasure that in your heart today as you rise to the work set before you.

[i] “Thirty-One Prayers for my Husband, Seeing God Move in His Heart” by: Jennifer Smith