The Silverware Drawer

So I recently cleaned out my silverware drawer. Every time I opened it I was frustrated by the chaos.  A small voice kept after me, just deal with it, clean it out, fix it up.  So I finally did.

You’re thinking, big deal, right?

Well it is to me.  I have one drawer where I keep silverware and most all the kitchen utensils.  When I first moved in this house this drawer seemed most natural to me to host all things kitchen utensil-ly.  So it became the silverware home.  And like all homes, over time it needs some fixing up.  Something I had neglected for a long, long, time…ask anybody who has tried to open it.

So one snowy day I decided enough was enough and I cleaned it out.  I purchased new drawer liners and threw away anything that hadn’t been used in a year or that had at least three more just like it.  It’s amazing what can accrue over time in a nasty silverware drawer.

Alas, I got the job done and all was right in my kitchen.

Silverware Drawer

As I looked at the newly organized drawer, ok I know some of you are looking at it and are thinking “That’s organized?” believe me…it’s a step up …a big big step up!!  But as I looked at my drawer I couldn’t help but feel a bit uncomfortable with how long it had taken me to deal with the mess. I was embarrassed by the amount of useless things and crumbs taking up space. Why did it take me so long to fix this mess?

And then it came to me.  Almost as if a little voice quietly spoke these words.

Everybody has a mess somewhere they don’t want to deal with.

I know I’m not the only one who has a messy silverware drawer.  Raise your hand if you have a closet  you are afraid to open the door to for fear it may never close?  How about a garage that no longer can fit your cars?  Maybe a basement that has been hijacked by old furniture, boxes of memories or the stuff that you think you may need one day? A crabby attitude that invades family time?  Envy that has taken root and fills your thoughts with jealousy?  Cookies you just can’t stop eating?  Anger that is ravaging your relationship? Control that micromanages everyone and everything?  Obsession with phones, tablets or computers that you can’t seem to live without? Fear that keeps you from leaving your comfort zone or keeps you up at night? Am I getting close?

We all have messes.  We share this trait as humans.  We all have something that we know needs attending but we’d rather not deal with it. This is a common thread in each of us.

After I had cleaned the drawer I realized that it felt good to have order back.  It felt good to have invested in something that made my life a little better.  Looking at my newly organized drawer I had another revelation.  Improvement is good.  Improvement is possible.

Which one of us is not drawn to stories of those who overcome?  Who does not find appealing the stories of those who, although living with difficult, even self induced, consequences, find life in seeking order?

We are created for order in the chaos.  We are flawed by our own inabilities and fears.

I took out one fork at a time when I cleaned my drawer.  It felt big at first to tackle the mess. My drawer really was a disaster. But with each utensil I pulled out I gained a growing desire.  A desire for order and a clean drawer.  One motion at a time. Removing one item at a time, I began to believe it was possible to get through it.

I may be flawed but I am influenced by a desire for restoration.

Do you hear a voice whispering something small to you today?  Our problems feel so big sometimes it keeps us from dealing with them. Sometimes a small voice is necessary for big jobs.  Sometimes small voices are the ones that get us to take that one step, that leads to the next step that cascades into a series of steps toward order, improvement, health, growth, healing and restoration.

Maybe we shouldn’t be listening for the big voices but the little ones?

We may share the messy trait as humans but we are united by our desire for wholeness and restoration. Breathing  life into whatever needs a fresh start we write a richer story, we awaken the desire for good to spill into our lives, we extend the hand of unity to someone else needing to do the same.

Resorting order starts small.  Like a silverware drawer.  Maybe the little things we bring order to foster courage to tackle something bigger farther down the road? Today a silverware drawer, tomorrow the back part of the basement.  Who knows?

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