Too Much Clutter

Is your desk neat or messy?  I have to confess that I am a messy desk person.  Just ask my wife. She often has a hard time coming into my office to chat because the clutter on my desk drives her crazy.  “How can you get anything done with such a mess?”, she asks regularly.  So periodically, I will take an hour or two to focus on organizing all the paper, throwing away that which is no longer relevant and connecting individual sheets of notes with the file folders that will better enable me to retrieve them when I need them.  But it seems inevitable that within a couple of days, the clutter will return.  I am not proud of this, but I have yet to find the discipline to keep things neat and organized for a week at a time – life keeps on happening.

As I thought about this devotional, I realized that my desk is too often a reflection of my mind.  With all the clutter of activity in the world – I am a news junkie – I am easily distracted by whatever is in the paper, on NPR, Facebook or Twitter, and soon I lose focus.  I want to know the latest about what is happening in the world and what is happening with my kids, and what is happening with Jan’s health – all good, important things.  But too often, all that information just piles up and makes a cluttered mess in my mind, to the point  that I am not sure what to focus on next. 

What I need, and what I still find hard to do, is to take 10 minutes a couple of times every day, to just stop and listen for what God may be saying to me.  My daughter, Annika, is very good at this – making time to meditate and listen for God – and she is someone who always has music on and is a champion multi-tasker.  But she has learned from her experience, that without the meditation, her multiple interests and many stimuli lead to a cluttered mind and a loss of focus on what is important to her.  She clearly didn’t learn that from me – but I need to learn that from her. 

“Be still, and know that I am God”.  Psalm 46:10

Lord, help me to clear the clutter of all the sounds that keep me from even listening for what you have to say to me.  Help me to heed the example of those around me who urge me to take time to meditate and listen for you.  There are so many worthy things clamoring for my attention.  Help me to be quiet, to clear the decks (and the desk), so that I can listen for you and discern those things that you are calling me to focus on.  Thanks for the rich life you have given me.  I want to be a good steward and a faithful servant.  Amen.

Dave Erickson-Pearson


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