Random thoughts from a messy mind …

I know its summer, because I can see the top of my desk! (In places, at least …). In summer, the pace of activity slows down so much I can actually get through the stuff on my desk to discover faux leather! I admit that I am an unabashed “stacker.” I stack things in various places around my desk … my office … my home … etc … To the uneducated eye, I’m sure it looks like absolute chaos (Honestly, it sometimes looks like chaos to me, too.) However, about 90% of the time, when I want to find something, I know right where to go – by that I mean which stack to look in. I have my “urgent” stack, my “currently working on it” stack, my “if I wait long enough I won’t have to do anything about it” stack, and my “longer-term maybe I’ll need to look at it again” stack.

Some people make lists; some people file things meticulously; I make stacks.

This system has worked very well for me for my entire adult working life – 40+ years. The only time I was ever plunged into chaos was once, many years ago, when I worked for a construction company as their controller.  My first day back after a three week vacation, the bookkeeper (who really made things run) told me proudly, “I knew you’d be rested up and ready to go, so I thought I’d help. Last week I had an afternoon that wasn’t very busy, so I straightened your office up.” (Inner screaming begins … ) She had done a lovely job. I could see almost all of the top of my desk. I was also virtually useless and helpless for about 10 days until I could find the things that had been previously stacked and restore them to their seemingly chaotic state. Ahhhh … the universe was back in order again – MY order.

The fact that my desk / filing / retrieval / system is so odd helps me remember not to be too critical of others who may not see the world as I do. That encompasses a lot of things – theology, priorities, politics, the meaning of the universe – all the little things that make life so rich. While I stand in amazement and wonder how in the world they could view something in a way that was so different from me, I get just a glimpse of how others feel as they view my desk and office and house. I’m getting a glimpse into their universe – their core viewpoints on the world and what it means to them to be human.

That’s when it gets dangerous. It’s so tempting for all of us to ‘correct’ someone else’s viewpoint … or messy filing system … so that it harmonizes with our own. But, to do that violates one of the strongest teachings of Jesus – one included in the Sermon on the Mount and found in Luke 6:37. Jesus said it simply and clearly, “Do not judge others unless you want to be judged, as well.” If we assume that our viewpoint is better, more accurate, more faithful, or more whatever than someone else is to pronounce judgment on them and their viewpoint. I can almost hear Jesus saying, “Shame on you!” Yet we all do it.

So, let’s resist temptation and NOT DO IT! Accept others as they are. Don’t try to force them to conform to some image of correctness or perfection that exists only in our mind. I read somewhere that the way to make Jesus happy, is to avoid a lot of useless strife … I’ve got the article here somewhere.

Now, what stack was it in?

See you in church.

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