Today’s post is the third in a series of posts about issues in our homes and hearts that may be in need of some spring cleaning. To read the first in the series, click here.
Today, let’s talk about the office, which in our house looks more like a desk stuck in the dining room. Here is where we keep important papers, bills and other things that need our attention.
On one hand, I think this area of the home represents our priorities. What are those priorities? What should they be? Are they priorities with how we spend our time? Our money?
On the other hand, this area of the home also represents our lack of priorities. How much stuff do we just place in a pile on the desk because we probably need to do something with it, but don’t know what or don’t want to take the time to do it right now?
Guess what? I found both when I tackled the desk last night. I found (I shouldn’t say found, I know they were there and they weren’t lost) receipts and bills that had come in the mail in the last week that I had set aside for this week’s bill-writing extravaganza (makes it sound more fun, doesn’t it?) That’s a priority for me, keeping up with bills and staying on top of our finances. I also came across last year’s summer calendar where I had laid out the kids’ activities and the babysitter’s schedule. Both of these are things I would expect to find on the desk. After all, financially we have a responsibility to give to the Lord first, as well as pay our creditors. (Read more about this here.)We also have a responsibility to arrange our calendars around our priorities. But many find that finances and time are two of the hardest things to clean out and organize. What do we say no to? How do we give that much to God when we are struggling to pay our bills? And so the office remains cluttered and disorganized because it is easier to let it go than to face the necessary work to bring order. What are the heart issues involved here? Submission? Obedience?
Now, the other part of what I found appalled me. And it is my desk. 🙂 I found so much stuff that I had just set in a pile on the desk to take care of “later.” The problem is, later never came (until last night). It wasn’t anything pressing or time-sensitive. It wasn’t even anything important. It was just a lot of “stuff” that I could have and should have dealt with at the moment it came in the house. It was school policy manuals. It was the “extra” school pictures – the ones left after I had given away what I needed to. It was random pieces of paper that I didn’t need to keep in the first place. Much of what I found was stuff that could either be thrown away, filed or had a place but just hadn’t made it there. And what is scary to me is I tend to be a pretty organized person and I like order. Yet, instead of dealing with this stuff, it was easier to just let it sit there and pile up.
Is it true that this is what we do in our hearts, too? Do we deal with the stuff that we see as priority in our lives and let the stuff we perceive as “little” or “can be taken care of later” go? And how do we determine those priority things? Do we fix and keep in order the stuff that other people see or are affected by simply because it can be seen and monitored – like bills that need to be paid because when they are not people notice? Do we let those things that can’t be seen by others continue to live on in our hearts and pile up?
The problem with living this way is eventually, the pile will get big and will require our attention. And it may be that some of it is very easy to deal with, and some of it may be a little harder, but the longer you wait, the more time it will take to take care of it.
The good news is, if we ask, God will help us to see those areas if our hearts that are “piling up,” and He can help us get them back in order. So, as you work on spring cleaning your office (or desk stuck in the dining room), think and pray about the office in your heart and do some work there, too.
Oh, and I’d love to hear about the things that you find piled up in your real offices.