Monday, June 1, 2009

The Law of the Garbage Truck

The below story is one that I read on my former pastor's blog the other day. (some of you are freaking out that I still read it!...but yes, I do occasionally) It was the second time that he posted this story. The first time he posted it, I read it and thought that he posted it directly at me. Now, that could just be my imagination, but my spiritual discernment tells me that it is true. It was posted at a time when I was very angry and hurt; therefore, I was trying to hurt others. I succeeded in doing that and now regret many of the things that I did.

Upon reading this story again, at this time in my life, I was filled with joy. Joy, because I no longer am acting like a garbage truck. Joy, because I can read it and not think that this former pastor of mine is sending me messages via his blog. (this is the man who will not speak to me as a result of some of what I did and said) And joy because when I read this blog, the resentments of the past are gone from my heart! Hooray! (this is part of why I continued to read it - it was a wonderful exercise to be freed of resentment as I learned to read it through God's eyes and heart) I continue to pray and counsel about further amends for my part in the brokenness of this relationship, but what a joy to read this funny, but true, little story with a fresh perspective.
There was a time where I was the one being prayed for, I bet. Now, I am praying for them.

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital! 'This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don 't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don 't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets. The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so...Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.

~Author unknown (I looked it up)

I pray that I do not act like a garbage truck...even though I know I have before, I thank God for His wonderful mercy, grace, and strength to overcome. May my life be a fragrant offering instead of stinky garbage. And, when I am faced with stinky garbage, I pray for the godliness to wave, smile, and move along.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Eph. 5:1-2


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grey like snuffie said...

great way to explain our humanity at times...I would love to share this with a friend...can you give me a link or reference info so I can correctly give credit. And isn't it exciting when we recognize the progress God is making in our happens to ALL of us and we must learn how to process. Hope you have a grand day Liz!!!

Liz said...

Pam, I linked to the blog in the post (discreetly though, because this is a sensitive area between myself and the blog author).
You can find his post here:
I think it was written by a man named Tommy Speight. (no blog that I know of)
It was a difficult lesson for me, but one I am glad to have had. God is so good and yes, it is wonderful when he gives us the opportunity to glimpse into a little bit of what He has done!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

That's a great story. I've never heard that. How true and what blessings we get by not taking on their garbage but also by responding IN LOVE instead of vengence as the flesh naturally does.

Also, I rejoice with you that you are no longer filled with those negative feelings of anger, hurt, resentment. I see and agree how reading your previous pastor's blog would enable you to read in freedom. I'm deeply saddened that a pastor, who IS held at a higher standard, would not speak to someone for ANY thing they did. Christians, of all people, pastors, should extend forgivenes. If he can't forgive and speak to you for something you SAID, what happens when someone murders his child or rapes his wife. I don't mean to sound gruesome but you know, when bigger things happen, will he forgive?

Glad you are healed from that.

Liz said...

Well, I did a little research on the story of "The Law Of The Garbage Truck" It has been circulating for at least 4 years. The author is unknown.
So, Pam, no credit can google the story and it comes up all over the place. It has been on many blogs for many years and is also used in some Recovery programs.

Paula, thank you for the encouragement. I understand your questions. I have had them, as have many other people who are aware of this situation. Sad. Also sad, I did more that "say" things to hurt him - sign into email and read email that was not mine, and revealed some things. Although they needed to be revealed I did it out of anger and desire to hurt, not help. (partially) His wife was my BFF and there was jealousy and insecurity that have fueled his feelings toward me. HOWEVER, YES! God has given me deep and sincere forgiveness, and HIS love has freed me from the past! Praise the Lord, when I read this man's blog, I experience love and mercy. Continued prayers in my pursuit of godly reconciliation.

Laura said...

Hoo-ray for you, Liz! I am so happy for you that the bitterness is gone. I truly understand what that means, my friend.

A reason to celebrate for sure.

No garbage here.

Luv ya!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I've been sending a reply to your email for the last couple days. It's bounced back about three times. I will continue.

Liz said...

odd. We have been emailing for months! I will email you and give you another email option.