The presence of a new secretary in the office (after struggling for 6 months) taking on administrative tasks has relieved me of a significant burden. With the completion of the appeal hearing at VCAT in relation to a Liquor Licence for the Colosseum site, I decided on Tuesday that there was a disorganised office in need of attention: MINE! Piles of half-sorted mail, papers to be filed and bookshelves to be re-ordered had stood threateningly over me for some time, and it could no longer wait.
The process of sifting through an accumulation of mail and minutes is an interesting one. I would (all-too-)regularly confront mail that was past its action date, and therefore only needed to be thrown out. While it helped speed the cleaning up process as the accompanying decision-making process was made more simple, it caused me to stop and think… why did I keep much of this in the first place?
Some of us have a tendency to defer decision-making, or dealing with matters in our lives. We euphemistically “place them on the desk of our lives”, which is in reality, the ‘too-hard basket’, with the intention of returning to them at a later time. The problem is that the clutter of subsequent days often means that important matters can be left unattended. Deferring a decision effectively means saying no, but we keep it on the table “just in case”.
The writer to the Hebrews cautioned, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” Whilst we might take this as a caution against outright defiance of God, we often practically make the same choice, even when we say, “I’ll deal with that later, God. Not right now.” The clutter of life inevitable crowds out the issue which becomes forgotten (but which still impacts us). When God tells us to forgive another, or to take a particular action, and we choose to ‘leave it on the table’, we are effectively hardening our hearts, and the opportunity missed. “Today, if you hear His voice…” The apostle Paul must have carried the same thought in his heart in urging the Corinthians to change their behaviour: “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2).
What began as a simple practical exercise became infused with the grace of God: now is the best time to deal with the things God places before you. Don’t delay!
May 14, 2000
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