Today I was sitting at my desk, looking for inspiration, when I realised just how untidy my desk has become. There is a pile of books that is unread. There are small piles of papers representing different things I need to do. There are notes on scraps of paper – telephone messages and initial thoughts and plans for future services. There are two in trays that are overflowing with correspondence. This is not correspondence that I need to respond to, I try to do that fairly quickly, it is paperwork that I need to file either in a drawer or in a bin.
When I was at Bible College I remember the advice of one of our lecturers that we should have a “dustbin day” once a month where we go through all of the accumulated paperwork and sort it out. At the time I can remember thinking that that was a good idea and I resolved to do so. Sadly that resolution has not been kept to and has now resulted in a pile of papers almost 12 inches high in my in trays. And now the problem is that the pile is so big that it will take a considerable effort and intention to work my way through it, never mind all the other bits and pieces on my desk.
Perhaps during the summer I will force myself to do so.
I think we can sometimes have the same attitude towards the things in our lives that are spiritually cluttering us up. If we deal with them regularly then we can keep them under control, but if we allow them to accumulate gradually they can grow insignificance and size. I wonder if this is what happens to some people who slip away from church and fall away from the relationship with God. Other things gradually grow insignificance and importance and they either become too big to face or overwhelm us to the point that we feel we can’t cope any more. It is always good to keep short accounts with our bank, credit cards, friends and family… and God.
One of the things that I used to remind me to do this regularly is that I have built an association in my mind with washing my face in the morning and evening and being washed spiritually clean. As I wash my face I ask God to forgive me for things for which only to be forgiven and to cleanse me afresh by his Spirit. you might have other associations that you might like to make but if we are to prevent the clutter of our lives overwhelming us it is good to do some regular filing and binning.
Be blessed, be a blessing.
True story, allegedly, tangentially related to filing:
Joseph Owens of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, didn’t think police were listening to his complaints that someone was harassing him, so he came up with a brilliant plan. Owens convinced his friend to shoot him in the shoulder with a shotgun so police would take him seriously. After a trip to the emergency room, Owens faced up to four years in prison for filing a false police report.