One morning last week I woke up to the sound of retching. Harley, our Chihuahua, who sleeps in his bed on the floor next to ours, was sick. Great. Just what I wanted to deal with at 5:45am.

Harley the Chihuahua

Harley the Chihuahua

Luckily, the mess was confined to the dog bed – which is machine washable. I grabbed some paper towels to get “the bulk” and discovered the source of the problem. Harley had chewed on and consumed a chunk of plastic. (Sorry, I should have warned you that this might get graphic.)

After I tossed the plastic in the trash and the dog bed in the washer I started unloading the dish washer. Dishwasher unloading is a mindless activity and gives me time to think. Why in the world would a “semi-smart” dog eat something that has no taste or nutritional value and cannot be digested?

God impressed something on my heart while I was putting away the silverware. “You do that all the time.” (Huh?) “Think about all the junk you’ve taken in over the years that has no spiritual value at all. Then later on it comes up in your life as less than pleasing.” (Ohhhh.)

God brought something specific to my mind. I love to read mysteries. About ten years ago I came across a popular mystery writer that was churning out a whole series. So I started reading her books. The plots captured my attention but the stories were also full of language that was less than “pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).” I noticed that some of this began to pop-up in my thoughts. God gave me specific direction, which after a brief hesitation, I obeyed. He told me to get rid of the books, including the one I was in the middle of reading.

Jesus talked about this spiritual truth: Whatever is in our hearts will come out of our mouths. “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).” We must be careful about what we take in. Our hearts and minds are not immune to the sin and junk of this world. And it will come up again.

Harley’s little bout with plastic has made me pause and think about what I read, watch, and spend time doing. Do I want it “showing up” again? How about you? Have you been chewing on plastic lately?

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