It’s not quite this level… yet.
My office is a mess.
No, I don’t think you understand. My office also happens to be in my house. I’ve not laid good boundaries with my family, so the kids and my bride are often in here. They leave their droppings behind. You know the type: The toy, the book, the art project. My office looks like it once was a pastor’s office, but then a house vomited all its contents into the office, and I’m still trying to wash the chunky remains off.
If this were my private office, I might grouse, but that would be the end of it. The problem is, this room also serves as my public office.
I’m not the type to insist on perfect cleanliness. It’s going to be dusty. There’s going to be piles of books and papers on the desk.
But this is ridiculous. I can’t welcome congregation members into here. Not in the state it’s in. And I certainly can’t invite prospects in here to share Jesus. The room would serve as too much of a distraction.
When we first moved here, I designed the office to be welcoming. Besides the desk, I’ve got two very comfy stuffed chairs and a reclining couch. I’ve got a fridge stocked with snacks and drinks. I’ve got one of those little fountain things that are just plain nifty. It’s meant to be welcoming.
Right now the only thing it’s welcoming is a bulldozer to drive the entire room into a deep, deep hole.
I might be harsh. It’s also Lent, which shortens my patience and my tolerance for anything.
Yet, I don’t feel comfortable inviting people into this office.
Time for a change. Time to do some cleaning. In all my spare time. Maybe it’ll be a project for the week after Easter – when things calm down a bit. I do know I need to lay down some boundaries with my family – the office needs to remain a professional place, not a family gathering place.
It’s a fine line to walk; I want my family to be welcome here. My professional and family lives properly overlap quite a bit; after all, my bride and kids are part of the congregation I serve, too! They need to feel welcome.
But everyone else needs to feel welcome, too. If a person is distracted by the piles of children’s toys, they’ll have a harder time hearing God’s Word as I try to share it with them. If they’re paying attention to the art projects left behind, they won’t hear the mastery of God’s work in their lives. And so it’s time to clean.
(It doesn’t help that I have several piles of books in here that just need to get sorted and shelved… Maybe I should just stop buying new books? Oh, forget that heresy. There shall always be new books!)