Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lent Trash Walk

What: Every day during Lent, take a walk around your neighborhood and pick up trash as you go.

How: The basics are pretty obvious, but here are a few tips.
  • Bring a plastic grocery bag.  (Paper can rip too easily.)
  • If your neighborhood has a lot of trash like mine, it can be overwhelming.  Don’t try to pick up every single piece of trash.  Just pick one up every so often and enjoy the walk.
  • Don’t worry if you can’t see a difference from day to day.  People will toss out new trash.  But probably by the end of Lent, there will be less trash around than when you started.
  • Try not to stress out about the details.  Just enjoy being outside and moving.
  • As much as possible, try not to let people see you picking up trash.  Go at a less busy time.  If someone is walking toward you, just pass up that piece and go on to the next one.  This is a way to make sure we’re not doing this to look good.
  • Walk the same path every day - unless your neighborhood is mostly trash-free. 
  • Make it spiritual.  Try gentle bits of prayer as you go: “God clean up the trash in my heart ...  God clean us spiritually ... Give us a greater sense of responsibility for our world ...  God, where is there emotional trash in me?  ...  God, thank you for these beautiful trees ...”
  • Wash your hands when you’re done.

Why: Walking and picking up trash may not seem very spiritual or Christian, but there are actually lots of good benefits.
  • Our neighborhoods get a little cleaner and more beautiful.
  • Trash goes into the trash or recycle bins instead of polluting our ground and water.
  • Exposure to sun and nature is a natural mood booster.
  • Quiet time is always good for the soul.
  • Exercise is good for the body, mind, and soul.  John Wesley said, “Most people’s prayer lives would be improved by a 20 minute walk every day.”
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