I just realized something kind of strange: I love taking our trash and recycling out to the street. It isn’t enormously important to my life. It’s not like I wake up on Wednesday morning counting down the hours until I get to take that post-dinner journey down our driveway. But for that minute or two that I am out there, I’m grateful.
I think part of the reason is, it is always at night. Especially since daylight savings time ended, it is dark save for the moon and the stars. Still and peaceful. When I look up at the sky and see it stretching in all directions, I feel small in the best possible way. When I feel small, I typically think about how big God is and marvel at the fact that God would care about any of us at all.
I don’t usually stop that much anymore. Whenever I go somewhere, I am trying to get from Point A to Point B as efficiently as possible. And unlike college when I walked virtually everywhere, I’m in a car. The only other times that I’m outside for extended periods is when I’m playing with my son or I’m running.
I realize as I write this that I need to get outside more, get quiet, slow down. When I do these things it puts me in a meditative state. I often pray when I run, but those are usually prayers of locomotion: either of accelerating joy or hanging on for dear life; elation or desperation. Those are important prayers, but there is also a place for those slow often silent prayers of wonder. When I consider the heavens and all the rest.
It’s kind of appropriate that I get rid of my trash along the way. What else is prayer but a place where we rid ourselves of our crap and get to experience the walk back where we don’t have to carry it anymore? There’s a rhythm to it. I leave the junk behind and I walk back home.
At times, I think this is kind of foolish: the whole making a big deal of ninety seconds of prayer once a week. Am I blowing this out of proportion and making a household chore super spiritual? Maybe. Yet I can’t deny that when I walk back to my house in the still night air, that it seems like a thin place. It seems like a place where God is close.
Of course, God is always close. It’s not the garbage or the night or the driveway. It’s me actually stopping to realize that God is there. I guess for me it is simply easier to remember in the stillness. The awesome thing is that when I do remember, God can turn the absolute mundane into something wonderful.