Thursday, April 9, 2009

Lent 37: Fearfully made, wonderfully accepted

God takes pleasure in each person he has made. Each of us is different. Each is unique. When Christ came, he also was a personality – full of fun, shown by his jokes and love of children; passionate, like when he preached the Sermon on the Mount (Matth 5-7); hopeful, demonstrating God’s abundant life; patient, letting the disciples hang around without learning everything in three years.

In the midst of an office move, I’ve been slugged with a personal weakness, my inability to focus in a disorderly space. When the kids were young and going in every direction I was unable to keep the house tidy. It was sometimes incapacitating to have toys, papers, dishes, and other household things strewn about. I’m realizing how debilitating it was as our place is being cleared out and the messes belong only to my husband and me.

We packed up our offices last week for our move, but the computers and furniture headed over to the new space Tuesday. Since Monday, my laptop helps me keep up with work. Meanwhile, I can tackle smaller projects and details while I wait for my desk to get set up.

What shocked me was the depth of my disorientation. I’d thought and done research all weekend about how my office and my student worker’s would look and feel, then sat in the empty office with a laptop for 2 days, leaving Tuesday evening before the movers arrived. (They ran late, of course.)

Wednesday, I came in to find that the configuration had been changed overnight… certain furniture pieces couldn’t come apart, a small difference in carpet height made the difference between fitting my file cabinet under a fixed shelf, etc. The installers were sent away before they could reset the office, but the project manager told them he’d straighten it out. He asked me for a snap decision to redo the spaces, “Ok, what do you want?”

As I was asking him about the way the furniture could fit, he exclaimed to a passerby: “I just realized she thinks by talking!” which didn’t help. My muddled flow of words meant he was giving me no space or time to process. Instead of trying to work it out with him, I should have said, “Go away. Come back in 15 minutes and I’ll have an answer.”

I spent the day staring at heaps of “stuff,” a table in pieces, carpet rolled up, boxes covering half the floor. I unpacked three boxes onto my bookshelf, the only thing that was in the right place. Maintenance gave me a cordless drill so I could undo the long unworkable shelf. Two hefty guys helped get it out of the room and the amazing Maintenance crew came by to mud the walls. Slop slop. No more holes, but a few drywall chips on the floor.

I got home from work in time to leave for an extended Easter choir rehearsal. The music on the page was not transferring to my fingers. “My office is in a mess!” I exclaimed as I totally bombed transitions and bridges in the song. “Oh, that’s no excuse,” said a singer friend whose office is almost set up. “All our offices are messy.” She is social, not visual, and enjoyed visiting for two days until her furniture came.

I woke this morning with a raging headache, realizing I like peace and order. Most of all, I hate inconveniencing others while I process and redo until things are settled. But if I don’t get it right, the space will distract and annoy me every day. Once the boxes are unpacked, I suspect there will be little energy for moving again.

God knows our frailty, that we are dust. I am stunned over and over again by so much grace for each of us. What bothers one person makes no impression on the next. People are goal-oriented or go-with-the-flow, visual, workaholics, legalistic, or free-spirited. Some are relational, community-minded, messy, or meticulous. And all of us are beloved. Forgiven. Cherished by a Father who takes great pleasure in our appeals for help and our humble recognition of our failures and God as Source and Savior.

What’s diverting us in this Lenton season? Do we accept ourselves? Broken, flawed, imperfect, and an inconvenience as well as a blessing to others? If so, we can move ahead in the grace-filled, abundant, and peaceful life Jesus died to bring. I guess it’s back to the office-in-heaps for me.

God’s peace to you today.

*Doing wrong is fun for a fool, but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible. Proverbs 10:23 NLT

*For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

*The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Hebrews 1:3 NIV

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