Things get kind of trashy around my house on Wednesday evenings. Thursday is the day my trash is picked up, so I get it ready on Wednesday night. The trashy trash goes in a black bag and the trash that can be recycled goes in a clear bag.
One evening as I was separating my trash, I thought about how I practiced recycling at the ball diamonds when I was a kid. Between games we would search for pop bottles and turn them in at the concession stand for a deposit.
A few years later, bottles begin to be stamped with the words: No deposit. No return. There is a valuable lesson in those words. If we are not willing to make a deposit or put forth some effort, we will not acheive our goals.
Well-known pollster George Gallup Jr. warned about a lack of dedication: We revere theBible, but don’t read it. We believe the Ten Commandments to bevalid rules for living, although we can’t name them. We believe in God, butthis God is a totally affirming one, not a demanding one. He does not commandour total allegiance. We have other gods before him. Gallup believed that most Christians want the fruits of religion, but not the obligations.
Far too many times we are like Groucho Marx, who said: Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them . . . well, I have others.
Instead of choosing to go with the flow and the flavor of the day, we need to stand on principles. There is an old adage that says:
Methods are many, Principles are few.
Methods may change, but Principles never do.
We live in age that is known more for the ethical lapses like the Enron debacle and the sham investments of people like Bernie Madoff. What we need are people of principle. Thomas Jefferson said: In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
Sadly though, we have too many people drifting with the current and sinking like a rock.