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Give It All to HimA Story of New Beginnings
By Max Lucado
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2007 Max Lucado
All right reserved.
Chapter OneCarrying the Weight
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The woman flops down on the bench and drops her trash bag between her feet. With elbows on knees and cheeks in hands, she stares at the sidewalk. Everything aches. Back. Legs. Neck. Her shoulder is stiff and her hands raw. All because of the sack. Oh, to be rid of this garbage. Unbroken clouds form a gray ceiling, gray with a thousand sorrows. Soot-stained buildings cast long shadows, darkening passageways and the people in them. Drizzle chills the air and muddies the rivulets of the street gutters. The woman collects her jacket. A passing car drenches the sack and splashes her jeans. She doesn't move. Too tired. Her memories of life without the trash are fuzzy. As a child maybe? Her back was straighter, her walk quicker ... or was it a dream? She doesn't know for sure. A second car. This one stops and parks. A man steps out. She watches his shoes sink in the slush. From the car he pulls out a trash bag, lumpy with litter. He drapes it over his shoulder and curses the weight. Neither of them speaks. Who knows if he noticed her. His face seems young, younger than his stooped back. In moments he is gone. Her gaze returns to the pavement. She never looks at her trash. Early on she did. But what she saw repulsed her, so she's kept the sack closed ever since. What else can she do? Give it to someone? All have their own.
Suddenly one day we notice that our step has lost its spring. The sky has lost its blue. Our memory book has faded, its pictures yellowed and blurry. We didn't plan for this. It just happened.
That's when we look down and notice something in our hands. A trash bag filled to capacity. Or maybe two, both of them bulky and cumbersome. Who handed us this? How did we get it? And how do we get rid of it?
You don't find bags of trash selling well on eBay. Nobody wants garbage. We all have plenty in our own lives, and we, too, are trying to find ways of getting rid of it.
You may not understand where the load came from or what to do with it, but you know one thing-carrying all this junk around can't be good for you.
The Pelicano is the world's most unwanted ship. Since 1986 she has been the hobo of the high seas. No one wants her. Sri Lanka doesn't. Bermuda doesn't. The Dominican Republic turned her away. So did the Netherlands, the Antilles, and Honduras.
The problem is not the boat. Though rusty and barnacled, the 466-foot freighter is seaworthy.
The problem is not the ownership. The owners have kept the license current and taxes paid.
The problem is not the crew. They may feel unwanted, but they aren't inefficient.
Then what is the problem? What is the reason for years of rejections? Waved away in Sri Lanka. Turned away in Indonesia. Rejected in Haiti. Why is the Pelicano the most unwanted ship in the world?
Simple. She is full of trash. Fifteen thousand tons of trash. Orange peelings. Beer bottles. Newspapers. Half-eaten hot dogs. Trash. The trash of Philadelphia's long summer of 1986. That's when the municipal workers went on strike. That's when the trash piled higher and higher. That's when Georgia refused it and New Jersey declined it. No one wanted Philadelphia's trash.
That's when the Pelicano entered the picture. The owners thought they would turn a quick penny by transporting the rubbish. The trash was burned, and the ashes were dumped into the belly of the boat. But no one would take it. Initially it was too much. Eventually it was too old. Who wants potentially toxic trash?
The plight of the Pelicano is proof. Trash-filled ships find few friends. The plight of the Pelicano is also a parable. Trash-filled hearts don't fare any better.
I wonder if you can relate to the Pelicano. Are you unwanted at the dock? Drifting farther from friends and family? If so, you might check your heart for garbage. Who wants to offer dock space to a smelly heart?
Life has a way of unloading her rubbish on our decks. Your husband works too much. Your wife gripes too much. Your boss expects too much. Your kids whine too much. The result? Trash. Load after load of anger. Guilt. Pessimism. Bitterness. Bigotry. Anxiety. Deceit. Impatience. It all piles up.
Trash affects us. It contaminates our relationships. It did Cain's. He had anger in his mind before he had blood on his hands. And Martha? Martha was meddlesome in her attitude before she was quarrelsome with her tongue. And what about the Pharisees? They killed Christ in their hearts before they killed him on the cross.
Mark it down. Today's thoughts are tomorrow's actions.
Today's jealousy is tomorrow's temper tantrum.
Today's bigotry is tomorrow's hate crime.
Today's anger is tomorrow's abuse.
Today's lust is tomorrow's adultery.
Today's greed is tomorrow's embezzlement.
Today's guilt is tomorrow's fear.
Today's thoughts are tomorrow's actions. Could that be why Paul wrote, "Love ... keeps no record of wrongs" (1 Cor. 13:4-5)? Let trash on board, and people are going to smell it. The troubles for the Pelicano began with the first shovelful. The crew should have turned it away at the gate. Life would have been easier for everyone on board if they had never allowed the trash to pile up.
Life will be better for you if you do the same....
You can stick with your stinky cargo. And drift from port to port.
But why would you? Let the Pelicano have the high seas.
Your Captain has better plans for you.
Excerpted from Give It All to Him by Max Lucado Copyright © 2007 by Max Lucado . Excerpted by permission.
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