Seriously? Another one???
I stared at the grocery bag in annoyance, one hand holding its flimsy form up to the light as the other spread open the beige plastic for examination. Yep, two nice-sized holes in the bottom made this one a no-go, too.
You see, I use grocery bags for trash liners in my kitchen. It’s free, it’s easy since I don’t generate a ton of garbage living alone, and they keep giving them to me so I might as well use them! (I know, I know, I could get reusable grocery bags…but then where would I put my trash?)
Now, holes in a garbage bag of any kind are bad news. Years ago I worked at a Dunkin Donuts and experienced the delight of slinging a load of trash over my shoulder to deliver to the dumpster, only to later discover the bag had delivered a steady stream of dripping coffee grounds all down the back of my khaki pants.
I miss those pants.
Anyway, my immediate garbage problem was easily solved. I took another bag with a hole or two in it, put the first one inside the second, and voilà! Now the hole parts in one were lined up with the whole parts of the other, making them both useable again. Brilliant!
Then it hit me. Our lives are like those bags.
I have holes in my life. Gaps, as Rocky Balboa said. I have things I’m not good at and areas in which I still struggle. I have blind spots and bad habits and places in my heart that don’t quite work right.
And so do you.
The truth is, it is a good thing that we have these gaps. It is a good thing that we don’t have it all together on our own because if we did, we wouldn’t need each other and we wouldn’t need Jesus, either.
Because we have blank spaces in our lives, we need to lean on other people for help and others need to lean on us. Because we ALL have holes in our bags, we can come together with humility and joy, realizing that nobody has the whole picture on their own, but that together, God has given us all we need to figure it out.
Of course, when we don’t admit our holes and ask for help, we make an ever-growing mess of our lives and the lives of others, leaving a trail of pain like soggy coffee grounds behind us.
We were not designed for isolated self-sufficiency, but interdependent community. We were not built to be lone islands, but members of an archipelago, distinct but connected by mutual need.
It’s a good thing your bag has holes, because that means you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.
“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9)