It’s Not a Mess Unless I Do It
Dr. James L. Snyder
When it comes to words, everybody has their own definition.
Someone says one word and another person thinks it’s altogether something else.
For example, when someone says vegetable, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage thinks broccoli. On the other side of the dinner table, I think carrot cake. We have never been able to come together on this word.
I often get in trouble when at a restaurant. The waitress comes to take our order, then looks at me and asks what vegetable I wanted. I reply, “I’ll have carrot cake for my vegetable today.”
I then smile, knowing I was in deep trouble.
The waitress smiled back at me and said, “Okay, sir.” Then went back to process our order.
When the order came, there on my plate was the vegetable of the day, a slice of carrot cake. I tipped that waitress rather generously. I love it when a plan comes together.
Our most significant contention with words is the word, “mess.”
As far as I know, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is an expert in defining a mess. I’m an expert when it comes to creating a mess.
She has everything well organized and in its proper place.
All you have to do is walk into her craft room and you will discover what a well-organized room looks like. She has everything in its place and knows exactly where to go when she needs something.
Every time I walk into her craft room, I get dizzy. In that room everything has a place and is in its proper place. I could never work in that environment.
If you walk into my office, you will find the epitome of what a mess looks like. If I can’t create a mess, it doesn’t exist.
My wife is anti-mess and hates mess with a passion, and often I find her sneaking into my office trying to organize my mess.
Last week I was working on a project, and I needed something, so I went where I saw it last. Unfortunately, it was not there, and I could not find it. I was in a panic mode because I needed that for what I was working on.
As I was searching through my office, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage stepped in and said, “What are you looking for?”
I said, “It’s nothing you would know anything about.” I continued searching.
She persisted in knowing what I was looking for; finally, I gave in and told her what I was looking for.
“Oh, that,” she said, “it’s right over here.” She walked over to one of the bookcases, pulled it out and handed it to me. I just looked at her, not knowing how to respond.
What she needs to understand is that my mess is an organized mess to my standards. Just because it isn’t organized as she would like doesn’t mean it’s not organized in some fashion.
My definition of mess is “Making Everything Self-Sufficient.”
I had a crazy thought, which is nothing new for me, to show her how important it is for people not to interfere with their space and leave their mess alone.
I found out about a project she was working on, and some ideas began dancing in my head. (Thank you Chubby Checker.) One question took the bow: What if? I thought about that for a long time and tried to figure out how to implement it.
She had to go away for the day with one of our daughters and do some shopping, so this was the right time to exercise my plan.
I went into her craft room and stood quietly for a few minutes to get the dizziness out of my head. Then, once that left, I began looking around to see how to set up my plan.
I saw a project on her desk that she was working on at the time.
Then I began picking up a few things from the table and put them in places she would not think of looking. It took me a while to work it all out, but I was diligent in my plan.
The next day after breakfast, we went to our rooms to work on our projects.
I was so eager to hear what would happen in The Craft Room. I heard some rustling around and heard someone in that room taking some profound sighs. Then I heard her say, “Where did I put that?”
I was so excited to hear my plan coming together. I went to her craft room, and looking in I said, “My dear, what are you looking for?”
She said something to the effect that I would not know anything about that. I persisted, and finally, she told me what she was looking for, and with a big smile, I said, “Oh, that’s right over here.” So I picked it up, brought it back, and laid it on her desk.
I smiled at her, but my smile was not reciprocated in any degree. It’s nice when a mess comes together.
Thinking about this, I was reminded of what David said in Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Words are important and the most important word is the word of God. Hiding God’s word in my heart will always lead me in the right direction and bring me to that place of blessing.
Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.jamessnyderministries.com.