Dr. James L. Snyder
THE PARSONAGE—I thought I had everything organized and in order. It just shows how useless my thinking is these days.
There are many piles in my office and on my desk, and I know what is in each pile. Everything is organized to my specifications. My rule is: if I can't find something, I don't need it. Believe me; there's a lot of things I don't need.
At the end of the week, I was finishing up my office area and closing it down for the week. I sighed a deep sigh of relief, knowing that my work for the week was done. Nothing is more satisfying than when a plan comes together.
It was at this point that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came into my office area and said rather strictly, “What is all this junk?”
At first, I did not know what she was talking about. I looked around my office area, and I could not see any junk. So I asked her, "What junk are you referring to?" It was a very sane and insightful question, at least from my point of view.
I've been married long enough to know that there is a different way of thinking and looking at something on either side of the marriage aisle. After all of these years of being married, I just can't figure her side out.
"All this junk in your office is what I'm referring to," she replied.
The only junk I could see in my office area was the waste can, which was full at the time. So I picked up the waste can, took it out, emptied it, and brought the empty waste can back.
“There,” I said with a degree of satisfaction, “I got rid of all the junk.”
You would have thought that being married as long as I have been, I would not have come to that conclusion.
My method of organizing is not the same as hers. For example, on the other side of the house, she has what she calls her "Craft Room." I walked into it once, and it was so organized I had to get out as quickly as possible. It gave me a headache. It looked like a well-organized store of craft products. Everything had its place, and every place had its thing.
My idea of organization is that I know where everything is and if I can’t find it, well, you know the rest of that.
“Look at all of the junk in your office. How can you work with all of this junk around you?”
Still, I do not understand what her definition of junk in my room is. But the fact is, I work better when I'm surrounded by what she calls "junk."
Then she said something that froze my liver. “I have some time so let me help you organize your office.”
I know she meant well. But I also know that if she organizes my office according to her specifications, I will never find anything I want when I want it.
Then she briskly walked towards one of my “piles.” I almost panicked.
"No, no," I said as gently as I could even though I was in panic mode. "Everything is okay; I'll take care of it, you don't have to worry."
Whenever my wife gets a project in her mind, she can't stop until she has completed it to her satisfaction. She's a gifted organizer and very specific. I know that if she organizes my office, it would be supreme.
If she organized my office, it would take me months to get it back to the place where it functions according to my level of function.
When I'm finished with a project, I go over to one of the piles and just sort through it and find something I had forgotten about, which becomes my next project. If it was organized, I would never find the next project to do.
I thought my life had come to an end, at least my work life. Then something happened that saved me from this predicament.
My wife's cell phone rang, and it was our daughter. She wanted to know something about a craft project she was working on and wanted to know if her mother could help her.
I saw her eyes light up as she left my office area and went back into her craft room to help our daughter. I think that’s why God gives us daughters!
Getting out of this predicament was a great thing, but I had to think of what I would do the next time it happened. I needed a plan.
One person's junk is another person's workspace. Just because you don't understand how my office is organized doesn't mean it's not organized, and it doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing in my office.
My workspace, or junk as my wife says, is my environment to think and to work.
While my wife was back in her craft room, talking to our daughter, I happen to think of a verse of Scripture. "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established” (Proverbs 16:3).
When in my space, no matter how somebody else may do it, I am in an atmosphere to do the thinking I need to do. Most of the time, my thoughts are rooted in God and how he has marvelously blessed my life.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.