Thursday, February 18, 2010

What Would You NOT Want To Leave Behind

What would you NOT want anyone to find if you died today?

I started a little filing and cleaning. My desk was in need of a serious filing block of time. I pulled open a drawer and it was full of... doodads. A bunch of junk taking up space.

I suddenly thought of someone else having to go through my things if I were no longer here. (Several people I know have lost loved ones this week and so my thoughts weren't maudlin, simply a recognition that all life ends.)

Did I want them to open drawers and find junk? What would they do? Seriously, wouldn't you just turn it over a garbage can? Was there anything in my home that would bother me if my grandson found it? You know he has a habit of exploring all my cupboards and drawers passionately!

But the filing had important insurance documents in it. What would my family do if they couldn't locate the insurance that would pay for all the expenses I'd incur?

Wow! That thought stopped me in a mid-air intention to sit down. I launched back up and over to the pile. I began the chore of filing.

A little later while researching verses for a chapter I'm working on in Courageous Beauty, I found a verse, James 3:16, that says For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

Consider that from a slightly different angle, evil practice and disorder are a result of envy and selfish ambition. Oh my! I skidded to a halt. Was disorder a sin and equal to evil? What was appropriate ambition for a Christian? (Here's a tool I found to help.)

The more I thought about it, the more I felt convicted. The time I've wasted over the last several weeks while I searched for this paper or that could have been spent writing pages and pages of a book or in creating materials I need for speaking. Instead, I wasted precious time looking through a messy desk. Time that I can't get back. Time that was given to me by God to live out the purpose and calling planted in my DNA. 

So I've been just handing this precious gift of time right out the door. It's my choice.

My Lenten season won't be dedicated to giving up a food or even regular fasting. (I'm a Lutheran who practices lenten discipline.) It will be spent dedicated to creating a sense of order because God is not a God of chaos but of order.

How will you observe Lent?

How does this concept affect you?

Is there anything you wouldn't want to leave behind for others to deal with?


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