Monday, August 31, 2009


“That’s funny”, came the voice amidst two or three giggles, as I stood in the mailroom sorting out binder-clips into three convenient size groups so that employees and administrative assistants could easily find what they needed.

More giggles and teasing came as she continued, “This is an absolute no-brainer!” I smiled, knowingly, and continued to sort them, grateful that I could laugh with her – this time! (Psalm 4:7)

In the midst of downsizing, after employees were laid off, we had been cleaning out desks, and recycling office supplies. The bin of unsorted binder clips was full and overflowing, plus the supply of new ones was getting low, and I would have to order new ones. I had procrastinated enough, I knew it was time to deal with them.

I was like a marathoner who had purposely run half of his course, knowing that he had no choice but to return, or call his wife to come and get him!

Knowing full well that the administrative assistant was a kind person, but who could be quite demanding when placed on a mission for her boss, I thought to myself, “If she is not that busy, she won’t be able to help herself – she’ll start to help!”

Sure enough, in a few moments she began to sort them with me, and laughing all the while. Soon she took a handful of the tiniest ones, and as she started to walk away, turned and said, “You know, this cracks me up! It’s a no-brainer! Sorting binder clips! It’s so different from financial “experts”, and the president of the company, haggling over budget, yet strangely similar! I really need to tell those number crunchers down there in the office to come down here and sort binder clips for a while! It would be so therapeutical!”

I thought, “You are right, the real issue is not the budget restraints, but whether you have resources or not. If you have the resources, and they need to be exchanged for what you really need, it is a no-brainer!” The real issue is not budget, but whether you have resources or not!

Knowing Jesus’ ability to command, a man in a crowd cried out to Him one day, telling him to make his brother share an inheritance with him. Jesus, knowing that neither sibling would want to do without, and that dividing it would make matters worse, said, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” Then he continued, saying, “. . .Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:13-15 ESV)

James 4:1-3 indicates that passions are the problem – passions related to covetousness.

I thought my lesson was over, but some months later I found myself as a volunteer, sorting plastic-ware into packets in a “soup kitchen”. There had been too much waste. The person in charge said, “I am embarrassed to ask you, but do you mind doing this?”

As I said, “No, I don’t”, I realized that when you are serving others in love, and handling resources wisely, it deals a death blow to passions and covetousness! The Bible says that covetousness is really idolatry. (Colossians 3:5) I concluded that idolatry is a 21st century problem!

No comments: