Back in the 1980s when my father worked for IBM, I went through a science-nerd phase.  I took a computer class in BASIC (hah!) and went to Space Camp twice.  Those were the days…

Anyway, I loved the little phrase the teacher gave us in our class.  “Garbage In, Garbage Out”  or “GIGO” was a recurring theme of the class.  In other words, watch what you put into your computer program, because that’s exactly what you’ll get when it runs.

Recently this little phrase has taken on new meaning for me.  It all started a few months ago with an article in the campus paper (see an upcoming blog post for this.)  Since then, everywhere I go, I’ve been noticing garbage!  Not the tangible kind that you put in a can, but the philosophical, emotional and spiritual kind:  the junk we put into our systems because it makes us feel good, or because we have been told that it’s good.

Once I saw a bumper sticker that read, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  We humans have a sad knack for expecting peace and happiness while we pollute ourselves body, mind, and soul with junk.

I have a few blog posts in the works on this, and I might even make a theme for some campus ministry discussions out of this.  (Maybe we could contrast GIGO and TITO–Truth In and Truth Out?  or HIHO–Health In and Health Out?  Nah, too dorky.  But I could think of these goofy acronyms all day…)

I’m privileged to work with a group of great students who are smack-dab in the middle of figuring out for themselves what is garbage, what is treasure, what is truth, and what is a lie.  My prayer for them, and for all of us, is that we’ll be able to see the garbage for what it is and throw it out.

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