“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:16 NLT)
It was a lovely Spring morning here in the mountains of my home. The sky was blue, the sun was out, and the air was warm. As I drove along the curvy roads I could see thousands of wild flowers in bloom. When I rounded a curve I slowed as I saw some volunteers picking up trash along the side of the road. I smiled as I saw them doing some “Spring Cleaning” for Mother Earth and my mind floated back in time to another Spring day long ago.
When my children were younger we used to walk a graveled trail around the lake near our home. One Spring day my daughter and I noticed just how much trash was lying along the trail. The next day then we brought a big trash bag with us and started to slowly, step by step, pick up the trash along our way. There were pop cans, plastic water bottles, wrappers for candy bars, empty chip bags, pieces of broken fishing line, and even an old discarded shoe. We stopped and picked up each one and even fished a few pieces of garbage out of the edge of the water. By the time we had circled the lake the bag was nearly full.
Tired but happy we put the bag in an empty trash can. We stopped before we headed home too and took one last look at the lake as the sun set. It looked more beautiful than ever and I felt like God and the angels were looking down upon it with us and sharing our smiles.
I know that at times this world’s problems can seem overwhelming and you wonder what you can do to make a difference. But the truth is EVERYTHING you do makes a difference! Every time you stoop to pick up a single piece of trash you make a difference in God’s world. Every smile you share makes a difference. Every helping hand you extend makes a difference. Every prayer you pray makes a difference. Every kind word you say makes a difference. Every loving thought you think, every hug you share, every flower you plant, every animal you save, every thing you do, no matter how small, makes a difference in this world.
Make your difference today! Share your love. Shine your light. Live your life. Pick up a piece of trash. And make the angels smile.
Joseph J. Mazzella