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Organization isn't all it's stacked up to be

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By Rev. James Snyder

So far the New Year and I have gotten along quite famously. If the rest of the year goes as well as the first week it will be a wonderful year. I love it when a plan comes together – especially when it’s mine.

Then the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage disrupted my amicable muse. She emerged from my office and said most defiantly, "You need to be more organized. I don’t know how you find anything in that office?"

What she does not know is that I rarely look for "anything." Usually, I’m searching for "something." That is a problem with women ... wives ... mine in particular. They don’t know the difference between "anything" and "something."

When I’m searching for something I never find anything, and often I find nothing.

My wife was making two assumptions. One, that I was not organized. Maybe I’m not organized according to her definition, but I assure you I am organized.

Another assumption she made was that I cannot find anything in my office. This also is not true. I go by the motto: if I can’t find what I need I probably don’t need it.

This has greatly simplified my life. Where does it say that you have to find everything you are looking for?

Have you ever noticed that no matter what you are searching for it is always in the last place you look? Why don’t we look in that place first?

Every pile of my desk has meaning. Sometimes it takes a little while for me to remember the meaning of a certain pile, but that makes life exciting. Who wants to go through life knowing exactly where everything is at any moment? Certainly not me.

I will grant you that some things need to be organized. For example, my lunch needs to be well organized. Nothing is quite as disturbing to me as facing a lunch that is absolutely disorganized. Everything about my lunch has its own place and when something is not in its preordained place, I am frustrated.

The plate needs to be in front of me. My spoon, fork and knife need to be where I can access them directly. And my coffee cup where I will not spill it on myself. This I know from painful experience. All the food dishes need to be within easy arm-reach.

I refuse to begin my lunchtime repast until everything is organized in front of me. I do not want to get up from my chair to fetch something in the middle of my meal. When I sit down to eat that is exactly what I intend to do.

Nothing is more satisfying than a well-organized lunch where I know what to eat first. There is a beautiful harmony associated with a well-organized lunch that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.

Once I get up from the table and mosey over to my office, such silly ritualism is left on the table. My desk is something else. It is where I truly live. On and around my desk are piles, levels and floor space occupied by more piles. To me it is one of the most sacred places on planet Earth.

Once my wife organized my office and I could not find anything. For instance, she had my files filed alphabetically. Who ever heard of such nonsense? I could not find anything I was working on.

One woman’s organization is her husband’s nightmare.

My wife spends all day organizing my office and it takes me six months to find something ... anything. Once it took me all week to find my desk. There it was in the middle of the room – stark naked. Oh, the shame of it all.

Organization is not all it is cracked up to be. Often, when I am searching for something I find something else I forgot I had. Sometimes it is an overdue bill. My philosophy is, if I cannot find a bill I do not have to pay it. Unfortunately, the electric company does not share in my philosophical viewpoint.

Once I get organized, I no longer have any excuses. And boy, do I love my excuses. Man shall not live by bread alone – he needs plenty of excuses along the way.

A good excuse is like peanut butter – it helps to hold the bread in place.

I do not plan to organize my office any time soon. But I do plan to keep my wife from organizing it for me.

Sometimes a person can be all caught up in an organizational frenzy and really forget the important things of life. And then there are those times when a person thinks that everything depends upon them. The Bible tells us otherwise.

"The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established." (Proverbs 16:1-3 KJV.)

And also, "There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand." (Proverbs 19:21 KJV.)

For me it is a personal matter. The more organized I become the more I depend upon myself. The more I depend upon myself the more glory I take from the Lord, who deserves it all.

The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road. He and his wife, Martha, live in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 687-4240, or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. The church Web site is www.whatafellowship.com.