Posted on June 2, 2014 by admin

One Bag A Day: Reflections on Garbage and the Gospel


Around three mornings a week, I try to take a walk around my neighborhood. It helps me accomplish several things:

  1. exercise
  2. time to think and pray
  3. Observe and interact with my immediate neighborhood


I found myself starting to mentally complain about the amount of garbage in my neighborhood. “I wish people wouldn’t liter! Don’t they care about their neighborhood?”, I would think as I walked over and around the garbage each morning.

After a few weeks of this, I was convicted that I was complaining about something, but not actively doing anything about it. So, from that day until the present, I have been walking with one plastic bag in my hand during my morning walks. As I come up to a piece of garbage, I pick it up and put it into my bag. Each day, I rotate my route from my house (north, south, east, west).

Typically the bag is full before I walk four blocks. The most common pieces of garbage I’ve been picking up are beer bottles, Red Bull cans, empty Pall Mall cigarette cartons, and popsicle wrappers.

The amount of garbage in the streets, sidewalks, and in the plazas seems never ending. How will it every get picked up?

The answer is: ONE bag at a time.

As Christians, we too are surrounded by so many people in need. Evidence of sin is everywhere…in the streets, on the corner, in homes, in the mall, and in the parks. It’s overwhelming. How does one Christian make an impact in this sinful fallen world?

The answer is: ACTING upon (obeying) what we SAY we believe (the Gospel).

  • Intentionally interact with one person a day.
  • Introduce yourself to one new person a day.
  • Make one new friend.
  • Invite one person to your home, church, or a community event.
  • Share one Gospel truth with someday today.
  • Show kindness to one person a day (you know, saying a friendly “hello, (insert name here)” to that store clerk, or noticing and helping your neighbor in their yard)


Stop complaining about how sinful this world is, and start acting upon and participating in God’s plan of sharing the Gospel, loving your neighbors as yourselves, and living life with others.

One bag a day.

One person a day.

David Flinck

Antofagasta, Chile