June 02, 2008

Empty Soda Can

Note: If you missed my previous post, I want you to know that I've started a new blog for church camp staff. Check it out!

On the sidewalk in Burbank, there was a bench. The bench was empty. To the left of the bench was a sign designating this spot as a bus stop. To the right, there was a trash can. And lying in the gutter in front of the bench, an empty soda can.

I looked from one to the other: the bench, the sign, the soda can, the trash can, and back to the bench. It was early morning, and cars rushed by on the busy street, with drivers on their way to work. I looked down at the can once more. A trickle of water was flowing down the gutter and into a storm drain. It was almost--but not quite--enough to send the soda can into the storm drain as well. Where would it go then?

Some words painted on the sidewalk above the storm drain said: "No dumping--drains to river." Ah! So the can would end up in the L.A. River, which would take it all the way to where it met the Pacific Ocean. Once in the ocean, the can would probably be washed up on the nearest beach ... which, in this case, happened to be Long Beach.

I was on my way to Long Beach myself. Annoyed that I had to look at somebody's litter once, I couldn't stand to think that I might possibly have to look at the same piece of litter twice; once here, and once in Long Beach.

It was then that a crazy thought entered into my mind. A thought so profound, so revolutionary, that I wondered if I was capable of carrying it out. I took a step forward, and then another. Yes, I was doing it! One more step brought me to the edge of the curb. I reached down, picked up that soda can, and placed it in the trash can.

At that moment, the heavens opened up, light shone down on me, and a chorus of angels sang out. Well, not really. The cars just kept driving by, ignoring the revolutionary act I had just undertaken. Hmmm, maybe if I had found a place to recycle that can instead....

1 comment:

Adam Gonnerman said...


The idea of landfills doesn't give me much comfort either, though.