She ate anything. Leaves, tree bark, paper plates. Old school papers weighing down your backpack? No problem. She ate those too. Cigarettes were a delicacy as my sisters and I would sneak those to her in an attempt to make my dad want to stop smoking. (He has since stopped for other reasons). Junk mail disappeared easily as she chomped away at it like an office shredder.
Our goat was useful, yet eccentric. If you had driven up the long lane to our house nestled in the woods you would have expected to find Snow White’s cottage and meadowland animals frolicking delightfully. Instead, what you would find would be three sisters trying to walk a goat on a leash (maybe we were the eccentric ones). She chased our dog, head butted our cats, and cried for attention when not getting it. Maggie May, famously named by my parents and inspired by Rod Stewart, was somewhat of the demanding type. She persisted in getting what she wanted and could never say no (or naaa) to anything she viewed as edible.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…”- Titus 2:11-12
Like Maggie May, we eat junk mail everyday. The world delivers us a lot of what we don’t need. It comes to us on a TV, a computer, or through a teaching. It looks like a gossip column in the grocery aisle and sounds like a voice that always said you weren’t good enough. It is spelled like “deception” and pronounced like “sin”. All the while, we chomp away at the empty sustenance it provides. Oftentimes, the junk mail fills up our mailbox so that there is no room for the good stuff. The check we were expecting? The birthday card? No room.
Unfortunately, we grow so accustomed to its taste that we hardly recognize it as junk anymore. The too good to be true promise letters that are really scams are like the whispers of the enemy telling us that a little bit of sin won’t hurt anyone. Eventually, those whispers become shouts that holiness doesn’t matter. Eat enough junk mail, and we look more and more like the world everyday. Eat even more junk mail and we don’t care that we look more and more like the world everyday.
Read Titus 2:11-12 again. God’s grace teaches us…a lot. But in this case, we see that it gives us the know how to rid ourselves of the junk and live as we were created to live. To be self controlled and to eat the nourishment. In order to do this, we have to be willing students. A one time seminar won’t do it. There is a reason Jesus is called our daily bread.
So this morning, grab some fruit and a protein bar. Leave the junk in the mailbox.