Dump that Garbage

I love mornings, Mondays, and New Year’s Day! There is nothing quite as exciting to me as a
fresh start or a clean slate…a new opportunity to do it better, to get it right! So, here’s to 2024
being better than 2023! Maybe you had your best year yet in 2023, but I’m willing to bet every
single one of us faced something hard. That’s just the nature of living this side of Heaven—life
will be difficult. It’s a guarantee. What is also guaranteed is that you don’t have to walk through
it alone.
I speak often about the Law of the Garbage Truck….in short, everyone is walking around with
their own garbage. Sometimes they dump theirs right in front of you (Hello, front desk
employees?! How often does that happen to you?!). You have a choice: you can pick up their
garbage and make it your own, probably dropping some of it on others as you go or even
dumping the whole load on your closest loved ones when you get home or on the unsuspecting
checkout girl at Ingles. OR…you can let their garbage remain their garbage; you can leave it
lying right where they dumped it, refusing to pick it up or own it yourself, and by doing so,
continue to walk in peace and happiness. The choice, while not always easy, is just that…a
choice. And it belongs to you. Nobody can take that from you. (I do hope by now you realize
we aren’t talking about literal trash….)
But the truth is that we are all carrying our own kinds of garbage. Some bags are heavier than
others. But we each have one. I truly believe we are all doing the best we can with what we
must carry. Towards the end of 2023, I was really struggling to carry mine. I prayed, I cried
(daily—and those who know me well will tell you that’s a BIG deal), I read my Bible daily, I dove
into self-help and books and therapy, I exercised more, I adjusted medications and supplements
and had labs done (“But I’m crying, I must be dying!”).
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give
you rest. -Matthew 11:28
Rest isn’t something that comes easy to me. I’m a do-er, a fixer. In fact, let’s do it yesterday!
But you can only burn your candle at both ends for so long. When those burning ends finally
met in the middle, just when I thought I might collapse under the weight of my world, I found just
what I needed: a sweet Friend who took my garbage from me and reminded me that it wasn’t
mine to carry anyway. He gave me a soft place to land, rest for my tired mind and aching heart,
and a support system that was woven together over the course of many, many years who kept
my world together while I did what was perhaps the hardest act of obedience ever requested of
me: I did nothing. Not one productive thing. And I am better now. Not 100% yet, but better.
Hopefully in 2024, we will be kinder, gentler, more loving. Maybe we’ll learn something new,
grow our skill set, hone our craft closer to perfection. Perhaps in 2024 we will fall in love with
our lives (and ourselves) again. But most importantly, I hope and pray we all walk a little closer
to Jesus, that we all spend a little more time giving our garbage to Him instead of to those
around us, that we recognize others’ garbage for what it is and have the grace to let it go, and
that when the year is over, we look a whole lot more like Him than when it started.
May 2024 be a year full of fun, laughter, adventure, growth, prosperity, good health, and above
all else, love!
-Dr. Key