Before me sits a coffee table. It is covered, rendered almost completely useless. At first glance it’s hard to even tell what all is on it – an intentional perusal is necessary.
Eagles that should be on the mantle, replacing the stocking hangers that were removed yesterday.
Picture frames and a small oil lamp for the corner shelf, awaiting organization after the removal of various small nativity sets.
A couple of door hangers, ready to replace the various wreaths that have been hanging since early fall.
Book review books. Two completed and reviewed, now in need of finding their place on the bookshelf. One half-read.
September planner pages that should have been moved to a file along with October and November, but somehow they were left behind.
Steven’s bell-shaped notepad and Star Wars pencil.
A stack of wall-hangings, personalized Christmas gifts that still need to find a suitable home.
Finally, a table runner. The only thing that truly belongs on the table. Neatly folded, waiting to be usefully spread on the table.
Typically such a sight would simply instill in me a desire to organize. I am an organizer. I like for everything to have a place, and sometimes I am driven to create more chaos in order to produce an end result of increased organization.
This morning, though, the sight was something more to me. It was a representation of my mind. I had just written this in my journal:
My dearest Lord, I want to be wholly Yours today, but I can tell sitting here how distant my heart is. How cluttered my mind is.
I paused, staring at the cluttered table, not knowing what else to write or say or think. And in that pause I saw a clear picture of my heart and mind. It was just like that table. So many thoughts, each one with a proper place, but very few in their proper place. Somewhere in the midst of it all existed the one thought that truly did belong in that time and place, but it was so greatly surrounded by the rest of the mess that I couldn’t even really access or utilize it.
Just like the possessions that cause clutter in our homes, our thoughts are not always inherently negative or destructive. They have a time. They have a place. Some are very useful, even if just for a season. Others are memories that serve as precious keepsakes. But only a few are truly worthy of being kept on the coffee tables of our minds for continual access. Because we recognize them all as good and useful, we often neglect to keep them in their appropriate places as we should. We leave them lying around. We let them spill over into areas where they do not belong – areas where they introduce chaos thus removing their own usefulness and the usefulness of the thoughts that do belong there.
As the chaos of our homes comes under control after Christmas, may we also remember to evaluate the chaos of our minds. May we return long misplaced thoughts to their appropriate home. And may the coffee tables of our hearts remain free to be used as a meeting place for sweet communion with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.