A Cluttered Desk, a Cluttered Mind

Vol. 20 No. 05 | January 29, 2018

I almost always keep my desk and study area clean and free of clutter. I find an orderly desk provides less distractions.

But when I got to the top of the stairs this morning and saw what was in front of me, chills went down my spine. (For picture go to www.anorvellnote.net)

I hate it when my desk is like this- covered with papers, bills, receipts, a water bottle with one good swallow left, yellow sticky notes stuck on top of other sticky notes attached to my computer monitor, gift cards, tax forms, pens and highlighters, and of course my Bible (this does not fall into the ‘clutter’ category, obviously.)

Everywhere you look- on the floor, the filing cabinet, and the bookcase behind my desk- are folders, stacks of papers, files, textbooks, a plastic crate filling up with 2018 receipts.

Have I mentioned that I hate it when clutter collects like this?

“Tom, oh Tom, why have you allowed your desk and study area to get in such a condition?” you might ask.

The answer is reasonably simple: because this is a lot like how my life looks right now.

But I will say, although most of the stuff piled up on and around my desk looks like clutter, it’s not entirely. With the exception of a few of the sticky notes, most of the stuff scattered about has a purpose. (Okay, five pens may be a little much.)

Like the desk clutter, the things piling up on my list of what I need and want to do in my life are also important. There are people I try to stay connected to (you are one of those people); I am currently involved, to some degree, in four writing projects; teaching part-time; counseling; trying to develop my practice or perhaps find a full-time position; working part-time in a department store; trying to be a good husband, Dad, Papa, friend and all that’s wrapped up in trying to live as a follower of Jesus.

On some days, when I sit with my journal and reflect on all that exists within the boundaries of my life, I have the same feeling as when I arrived at the top of my stairs and looked into my study. Ugh! Where do I even start?

So as I sat amidst of all the clutter, I turned to the words of Jesus:

You are blessed when you get your inside world — you mind and heart —put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

I read those words three or four times, took several long, deep breaths and closed my eyes, sitting quietly for a few minutes. When I opened my eyes, I took one of the five pens on my desk, (the one with brown ink) made a short list of the most important tasks for the day, and one by one, started removing the yellow sticky notes.

I probably won’t get all the clutter cleared from my desk today. And when I climb the stairs tomorrow, most of those important tasks I jotted down will likely still need to be checked off. But one by one I will deal with them.

As I clear the clutter from my desk and my mind my inside world — my mind and heart — will be put right again. Then, I can see God all around me.  

When I’m able to see God all around me, the clutter seems to disappear and I’m able to see more clearly what I need to do to serve Him and fulfill my purpose.

Maybe you need to do a few things to clear your mind and heart this week. If I can help, let me know.

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2018 Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved

Subscribe @ A Norvell Note

Leave a Reply