The Cluttered Desk

by Tom Wacaster

Having just arrived home from my latest mission endeavor, I now find myself facing the dubious task of "catching up" with the backlog of correspondence, reading and filing, and bills. I have not yet figured out how to keep up with all of these things when my office is located in East Texas and I am half way around the world teaching and preaching; to take my office with me is an impossibility, and to stay at home is not an option. Unfortunately, even when I am home my office tends to get cluttered with first one thing and then another. Occasionally I have to take time and clean my desk off so that I can see what I am doing. As I type this article there are thirteen books laying dormant on my desk in various stages of readiness, one file full of illustrations, a notebook for keeping track of activities during my day, several markers and pens, a stack of the last five months of Reader’s Digest, an unread copy of the Dallas Morning News (now at least two months old), a scratch pad or two, and pieces of mail (mostly junk advertisements) all cluttering up the desk. Strangely enough, I do not remember getting some of those things out, or for what purpose I put them there. They are just there, interfering with those more important things that I must get done.

Many a life is nothing more than a cluttered desk! In a frantic effort to get to those really important matters, we must first fight the time-wasting, insignificant things that hinder us at every turn. The tragedy is, most of us never DO get to the really important things in life. We allow the television, pleasure, self interests and the pursuit for things (all of which perish with the using), to distract us from taking care of the most important business of all, preparing for eternity. Were we to stand back and take an honest look at what has cluttered up our lives, we might wonder how in the world they got there in the first place, or what purpose they serve. They are just there! And deep inside we know we must clear them out of the way and tend to those important matters while there is still time.

A number of years ago Walt Disney Studios produced a full length animated movie titled, "Lion King." The theme song contained some very thought provoking words:

From the time we arrive on the planet,
And blinking, step into the sun;
There is more to see than can ever be seen,
More to do than can ever be done.

Seeing that we will never be able to see all there is to see, or do all there is to do, does it not seem reasonable that we would want to make sure we got the truly important things done first? Once we recognize this logical and obvious truth, perhaps it will serve to motivate us to pay attention to that cluttered desk, or whatever else it might be that hinders us from accomplishing the truly important things in life.