I have junk mail that should have gone straight into the bin, study notes that should have been filed, books that I have recently received, want to read but should be sitting neatly on our bookshelves, medications that should be put away, but before I can do that, I should clean out the medicine cupboard.
Can anyone see a theme here, or is it just me?
I was looking at the amount of ‘shoulds’ in the above paragraph. Five! Five times when I rapped myself over the knuckles and admitted that this procrastination was not getting me anywhere, except possibly making me feel more anxious. Now due to my mental health issues, I have problems with depression, anxiety, repercussions of trauma, and of procrastination. It’s a ‘catch 22’ really because the more depressed I feel, the less likely I am to remedy the situation, so I procrastinate about all sorts of things. Then, the more I procrastinate, the more anxious I become. This anxiety usually leads to more depression.
Now I know I am not the only person with an untidy table (hmmm, maybe I am the only one with a table this horrendous). However, it doesn’t stop at the table. As I mentioned earlier, my medicine cupboard needs to be cleaned; emptied completely, taking anything with an expired date to the chemist, and then of course, putting things back in an orderly fashion, after wiping off the shelves. Often the things we neglect to do or keep putting off, are that way because they are actually just part of an accumulation of undone things, chores etc.
No one wants to live like this. Truly. I know I don’t, not really. A very wise person once said, “The Lord helps those who help themselves”. How true is this? Yes God always has my back, but He also gave me free will. It is up to me to take that first step. Imagine how wonderful it will feel and how happy I’ll be when all of this ‘stuff’ is put in its correct place, whether it be the rubbish bin, cupboard or bookshelf. Imagine how lovely it would be to have a beautiful vase of flowers to look at while I work.
In Proverbs 13:4 we are told:
“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”
This isn’t just about an untidy table or a cupboard that is overdue for cleaning and organising. No, it’s about our whole lives. Everything we do each and every day should be done for the glory of Our Lord. He probably won’t mind too much if my table is cluttered. However, He would be upset to see me unhappy; and He would be so sad when I can’t share and bless others by inviting them into my life because my life is too busy – ahem – messy.
People don’t stay away because of an untidy table, room or house. No, we block people out because we are ashamed. Did you ever hear of that saying “an untidy workspace usually mirrors the state of that individual’s mind”? I think there is an awful lot of truth to that. You really wouldn’t want to see the inside of my mind.
I love Proverbs; sometimes I feel that they were written especially for me (winking profusely).
The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labour.
“The sluggard does not plough in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.”
My mind is my soul and therefore I must keep it in good shape. Our bodies do not belong to us. They are already claimed by the Lord Jesus and infused with the light of His Holy Spirit. We don’t want to invite friends to an untidy home, so why would we invite Jesus into our untidy minds and our unclean hearts?
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
As children of God we are commanded to honour and glorify Him in everything we do, think or say; within our day to day tasks, as well as within our hearts and minds every waking moment.
By the end of this weekend, I pledge to clear off and organise the things on this table and leave a vase of fresh flowers out, so that others can see my happiness and contentment.
Oh and about all of those ‘shoulds‘ – there are no ‘shoulds‘ in life, only ‘coulds’.
Originally posted on Just Jo’Anne June 20th 2015