I took a tour of the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury, Vermont, a few years ago. It was very interesting to see how the yummy dessert is made; and the free samples were a plus.
The neatest and most unexpected attraction, however, rested several yards away from the building on a hillock beneath a canopy of trees. It’s the Flavor Graveyard.
Yep. It’s the place where Ben & Jerry’s flavors go to die after long and successful lives and tortured, failed ones that sometimes hardly got started.
It’s a real mock graveyard that gives you an eerie pause until you start reading and laughing. Every dearly departed flavor features its own headstone and a whimsical obit. If you ever visit the farm, make sure you take time to find the graveyard.
I think of Ben & Jerry’s creative concept and ask myself, What’s in my graveyard? and better, What needs to be there? That may seem odd—to have one’s own cemetery—but it’s not far-fetched. It may be your ‘alter of sacrifice’ or something else; but in the end it’s still a place where something dies or lies dead.
Biblically, we are advised to lay aside encumbrances and sinful proclivities (Heb. 12:1); to not let sin reign in our faculties (Rom. 6:12-13); to mortify the earthly nature (Col. 3:5); to be holy (1 Pet. 3:15); to not love the world (1 John 2:15).
Yes, Jesus has raised us up with him, but there is much sanctifying work that remains for us. And those grave plots await all the carnal weights that drag on our spiritual lives, including sin that must be eradicated.
Truthfully, ours is a killing ground, too. The Holy Spirit will graciously restrain sin in our lives, but only we act as executioners. Too often we have trouble delivering the blow.
This isn’t merely spiritual perspective. In order to produce the fruit of worship, that graveyard must exist. Until my penchants, will, the culture, and every other fascination are duly dead, Christ cannot possess those areas of my life now filled with clutter.