Friday, October 06, 2006

There is such a fine line between pile pumping and perfectionism. I do not pretend to understand the nuances between the two, but my life exists between their borders.

Growing up, I was the one who always wanted things just so. I followed Mom's lead and thought piling your clothes, papers, books etc. in places they did not belong was a bad idea. My family grew up in a 3 bedroom home and consisted of 2 boys and 2 girls. Brad and I had a trundle bed (trundle, what a good word...I wonder where it came from?) in our domain. Because I was the oldest boy, I got the top.

There were periods where he would leave the bed up, instead of making it, dropping it, and rolling it under mine. This reduced the room we had to move by about half or better. We had to walk the perimeter of the room during its "up" phase.

It didn't matter too much, I learned to cope. What I did not tolerate well was debris in the way of the room we did have to move. It caused stumbling on midnight trips to my sleeptime hobby.

As and adult, I found that I began to compromise my standards. When I lived alone, my place was always picked up...I didn't say clean, I said picked up (I'm still not sure what all those chemical cleaners do, other than make it hard to breathe in the house).

When I took a job in a wholesale greenhouse that employed developmentally disabled adults, I soon discovered what dust, dirt and grime really was. It layered every portion of my office no matter what I did. As I learned to begin to tolerate this, I soon found that piles began to grow (I wonder if the fertilizer we stored on the premises had anything to do with it) all over my workspace.

Now how did this happen? What is it that allows one to go from one extreme to the other? I soon learned that the pile that most needed my attention, was the one that had the most layers of silt.
I would like to tell you that I have repented of my messy ways. I would like to say that when I start a new job or move from one office to another, that piles disappear, and order is restored.

The truth is, it happens for a few clock ticks, and then they start reappearing...and growing. There is no longer fertilizer standing by to blame. It does not seem to matter. Now who do I blame my unfortunate inability to file, on?

A good friend of mine has a similar issue. Comparing yourself to another can make you look good, but it is probably not the right thing to do. Oh well, I must declare with perhaps a bit of pride, that his piles are deeper and messier than my own. His system of corrections would not please any warden.

The solution to finding a space to work in his office is to bring in a box, sweep the contents of the desktop into it, and store the box. Okay, that works too.

My preference is to take a few moments (okay, days) and organize. What an incredible difference it makes in approachability and comfort of your workspace. The problem I have, is that after I file, I cannot remember what I filed it under. At least when it is piled on my desk, I know which pile it lives in, and can find it easily.

I know you have already crossed over and made the spiritual connection, so I could probably stop. Since its Friday and I'm taking a writing break this weekend, I won't.

Your thoughts may be higher than mine, but it is really simple.

We have at our disposal a model of perfection, and a distasteful example of pile producing. I have to be reminded to view which border I reside nearest. Sometimes, I need to move. Sometimes, without even realizing it, my piles have become anchors. The sheer weight in them hold fast when I try to move closer to perfection.

Yeah, when there are piles I know where everything is, but when there are piles, others can't see the proximity to perfection my model has drawn me to.

It's time to clean house. The dumpster behind my residence is hungry for the unnecessary contents in my piles. The world around me needs to see my model of perfection.

I guess today needs to be a workday! Wanna join me?


Deanna and I travel to Neosho, Mo. this weekend to share. Please be in prayer for the students we will meet at 3:00, and the rest of the body in the evening service. Pray that God will bring about the change that He desires.


At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for y'all daddy.

At 8:03 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

I think (and I think you do, too) that the real issue is not the PILES, but the PRIORITY.

Some of the people I know with the biggest piles are the ones who place the priority on PEOPLE . . .you know, those ones Jesus said were so important.

Some of the people I know with the pile-free desks are the ones who rarely think outside of that desk to a waiting world. Jesus said something pretty negative about cleaning the outside and leaving the inside a mess, as I recall.

Promise, no finger-pointing here except back to myself! The answer is (like the answer to many questions) to go back to Jesus and see what kind of day HE says it is. Maybe it's a day of ministry to the organizationally challenged. Maybe it's a day of forgetting all the piles and learning from one whose priority is people.

My own desk? Neat today, cluttered often, surrendering daily!

praying for you in Neosho and always,


At 11:44 PM, Blogger Matt Snow said...

Has Rusty been talking to you about my office?

Thinking Upward!


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