Don’t throw the baby out

Church music director

I must confess, when it comes to recycling or repairing things around the house, I tend to look for the nearest trash can or hold it for next spring’s garage sale. Perhaps you can identify.

We appear to have evolved into a “throwaway” society that so readily tosses out the old in exchange for the new and improved. While I am not propagating the collection of junk that has lost its usefulness, I do find it curious how quickly we lose interest in what so recently held our gaze. The fast-paced development of new technologies that allows our lives to run smoother and more efficiently no doubt is appreciated, yet contributes to this turnover.

What concerns me is that this disposable practice, while at one time limited to tangibles, has now become a trend and mentality that permeates every vein in our society. From our relationships in the home, to our schools and the workplace, we seem to be making little effort in restoring the worn and broken as we hurriedly unwrap the new and pile the old onto life’s trash heap.

And why should we feel motivated to renew and heal the tattered when society offers us a low-risk, convenient trade-in with little or no consequences to our choices? I believe this throwaway mentality stems from our self-centered, convenience-oriented society, focused on our individual rights. Our value system has shifted as we have chosen to ignore the character-building truths of personal responsibility and commitment in exchange for the sensual and temporal.

Statistics are staggering when we look at workplace turnovers, divorce rates and, most tragic of all, the murder of the innocent in the name of choice. If that relationship isn’t meeting our needs, those new employees too difficult to train, or that unplanned pregnancy too burdensome, we simply toss them on the fire as an offering to the gods of selfish ambition.

While products of our industry may find some renewed value through the repair shop or recycle mill, one can never measure the tremendous worth of a human life or restored relationship. I’m thankful to God who did not toss us to the wayside, but in His love and mercy saw our value and redeemed us for His own. As we remember the immeasurable value of life, may we never forget the love shown to us, as we seek not to destroy, but to restore.