Monday, June 22, 2015

My junk drawer…

I needed a pair of scissors to snip off a tag. Standing in my kitchen, I reached in a drawer located right beneath my now rarely used home phone and answering machine. This is a drawer, that I hope all of you have in your home, one that is easily accessible, yet sort of tucked away, a miscellaneous drawer that stores the stuff you need right at your finger tips. Stuff that is seldom used.

I moved into this house 16 months ago and I believe I have cleaned out this mess at least three times to date. No matter how often I organize my junk drawer, it continues to fill with things I might not be quite sure where to store. These are items I think need to be held on to, lost items that I have searched my house high and low for…stuff. No matter how hard I try to keep this space organized, compartmentalized, uncluttered, it is my sundry selection, and a sure place for necessary items to become lost and forgotten.

Reaching for that pair of scissors, I opened this kitchen catch-all and found not one, but five pairs of scissors. Now these weren’t simply small unassuming scissors, nor were they a real variety of scissors. I accumulated five pairs of large scissors. Each pair had different colored handles, green for fruits and veggies, black for paper items, orange for cutting chicken…and so on. Instead of being in their proper places, they ended up in my junk drawer. I started digging a little deeper, forgetting about the tag I needed to snip. 

I found operating manuals for items I seldom use. I found receipts for things I no longer own. I dug deeper, finding scotch tape, okay, that’s appropriate, but then I found seven pairs of reading glasses, a broken plastic top to a set of small screwdrivers that I use all the time. This broken top, cracked and unusable, has never made the trash cut and has made the move into three of my four home junk drawers. I found Sharpee pens (5), ballpoint pens (7), a variety of notepads (4), sticky notes in multiple colors (8), USB cable cords (4), (I have no idea what these cords plug into, and a box of matches (I never use matches). The list grows, but I think you get the picture.

I became incredulous, unable to comprehend how this drawer magically became a magnet for so much clutter. 

So, after I took this picture, because I knew there was blog entry forming in the back of my mind, I began to clean out this poor, bulging drawer. I grabbed a trash can and threw away all the litter that had accumulated. I made a pile of things that were important enough to be stored and properly filed. I found small containers for working pens and stray rubber bands and I placed each pair of scissors in their proper drawer.

Some nagging little thought took root in my mind while looking at the mess before me. The thought grew quickly as I realized the disorderly drawer mirrored my life, my heart, my mind and my soul. 

How many times have I cleaned out the clutter that worms its way into my thoughts? How often do I collect junk that should have been tossed long ago, broken plastic tops and broken feelings and memories that no longer hold any use? When will I let go of all my accumulated scissors, the painful moments that cut into my thoughts, hurtful, stabbing situations that need to find a proper place in the closet of my heart? 

Can I choose to file away operating manuals necessary for experiences that might later instruct or help me share my life experiences with someone else? Can I sort out which pair of reading glasses help me look at life with greater perspective, a finer acuity to tolerance, to what is important, of value? Am I able to toss the stuff that has caused my life to budge unnecessarily? Matches, that fuel feelings that can only cause pain, can I toss them forever? Can I begin to compartmentalize my thoughts, desires, goals, achievements so that I am able to open the drawer of my life and easily see what is needed at a particular moment?

I believe my faith enables me to call on a God that is orderly. One who is wise, loving and understands exactly how to organize, to orchestrate, to assimilate my past, present and future. I pray that I can allow Him to clean out the clutter within me and know that with Him, because of Him, my life can have a place for everything and know that everything is in its proper place.

Two hours later, I snip off the tag, restore the scissors to their proper place and shut my drawer with a satisfaction that my junk is now in order, clean, neat and tidy. I felt a bit lighter, cleaner, more defined.

For what it’s worth, 

Psalm 51:10  “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.”