Keith Wushum: Waking up in the dumps

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, February 21, 2015

Theresa Moorer woke up in the dumps. To be more precise, she woke up in a Troup County (Georgia) landfill, where she narrowly escaped being crushed by a 90,000-pound compactor. Had it not been for a worker spotting Moorer’s leg poking from the garbage, she would now be buried with the refuse.

Why would anybody go to sleep in a landfill? Well, Moorer didn’t go to sleep there, and she probably would never have imagined herself doing so. But, she did make some bad choices that landed her in the landfill.

It all started at a party in Prattville, Ala. Moorer left the party to drive to her home in Marbury, Ala. Along the way she got sleepy, so she did what would seem logical. She went to sleep. Rather than fall asleep driving, though, Ms. Moorer pulled around to the back of a Goodwill store in Valley, Ala., to rest. There, to her pleasant surprise, she found a mattress. She lay down on her newfound bed and fell sound asleep.

There was one slight problem with Moorer’s decision to crash for the night, however, which almost led to her being crushed. Moorer’s mattress was in a dumpster. While she slept soundly, her bed was hauled across the state line to the landfill where she nearly died.

Ms. Moorer did not set out to sleep in a landfill or to be crushed. But she did go to an unhealthy party. Police found drug paraphernalia in her purse and suspect that drug use contributed to her sound sleep. Then she decided to attempt to drive home late at night while sleepy. That decision, in turn, led to her next mistake — crawling into a dumpster to sleep.

It often isn’t one major decision that leads to destruction. It’s a series of smaller ones, each seeming relatively harmless, but each taking us one step closer to being crushed.

He who made us offers to guide us at every step. “With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment,” we’re advised in Proverbs 3: 5. “Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow” (3: 6).

Let’s let God direct us, not just in avoiding major detours, but all the little ones that lead us in the wrong direct. Are your daily steps taking you closer to God, or closer to waking up in the dump?

Keith Wishum is minister of Williams Road Church, Americus.