Maybe you heard the story of Robert Baswell, 44, a homeless man who fell asleep in a trash bin in West Palm Beach on May 6, 2007. It provided escape from the rain and a pretty soft bed because it was filled with brush. But, imagine his rude awakening when he was tossed with the brush into a trash truck and then had the truck’s compressor crush trash against his body at least 7 times. “I screamed one last breath,” Baswell said, before a worker finally saw him and called for help. He suffered broken legs and ribs and it took firefighters almost half an hour pulling trash out by hand to free him. Later, he said, “I’m so happy to be here, as bad as I’m hurt.”
Such a story prompts some of us to be critical of this guy. How stupid to crawl into a trash bin to sleep! Surely there was a better option. We may even have little or no sympathy for his injuries because he did such a dumb thing. We might just tell him to find a better bed, right?
Now, think back to the last time you found yourself in such a fix. One thing leads to another and before you know it, it starts raining and you need a bed. Not literally, but figuratively. In the moment of immediate need or desire, we settle for something very dangerous and we don’t even see it as dangerous. A variety of things blinds us. Much of it is conditioning. Our standards begin to lower, then lower again, then again. Before we know it, we have trashed our lives, our families, our reputations — far worse than broken legs and ribs which can heal pretty quickly. But…but…it seemed like such a good idea at the time! A lie, an illegal drug, even a legal drug, lust, etc., can land us in the trash. Wake up before the crushing begins!
“Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.” (James 1:14-16) “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” (I Peter 5:8b-9a)
Article copyright (c) 2009 by Charles G. Mickey. All rights reserved.