It’s just as important to walk through with the trashbag as it is to walk through with the drinks and peanuts.
Once the plane reaches “cruising altitude,” the flight attendants come through the cabin with complimentary drinks and (hopefully) some sort of snack. They get their little cart ready and wheel it through to serve you with your soft drink of choice and a small bag of airline peanuts or pretzels (Sidebar: Unless the recession has kicked in and they’re charging you 5 bucks for a bag of trail mix). Several minutes after they have served you, they realize that their work isn’t done as it pertains to your complimentary snack. They’re already prepared to come back through again with a bag for your trash. You see, service will always bring about garbage.
Ministry is messy. Just as garbage is a regular part of a flight, it is also a regular part of ministry. The same people you serve well will also be the same people who bring you their garbage and expect you to do something about it. The best thing you can do is come to the situation prepared to deal with people’s problems & issues. Just as the flight attendants have their latex gloves, protect yourself so that other’s problems don’t adversely affect you. Like the flight attendants, consider it a privilege to help them through their trash. Look at it like a flight attendant; the more garbage you deal with now, the less you have to clean up later. And don’t be surprised that you’ll have to come through several times with the trash bag. People produce and discard their garbage at differing rates.
Garbage comes with the territory of effective ministry.