Elections, baggage, and clean garages (plus some pics)…

IMG_5547Welcome to November in North Carolina; it’s forty-something degrees, cloudy, and wet. To be honest, I kind of like it!

So yesterday, Halloween afternoon, I run into this guy canvassing for next week’s elections.

“Can I ask you a question first?” I said, before he had a chance to hand me any literature, or launch into his spiel.

“I’m a concerned citizen,” I said; “I’m well educated; I’m informed; I follow the political process; I’m profoundly disappointed in government; I’m motivated; I vote; and I’m less interested in a candidate’s party affiliation than I am with his or her character, and willingness to work together with other legislators for the common good…

“So, before you hit me with a focus-group tested bullet list, and before you tell me who you want me to vote for, tell me this: How willing is your candidate to step off the party platform in order to actually get things done?”

Then – and I have to give the young man credit – he shoved the material back in his bag and shook my hand. “Thanks,” he said. “I’m sure you’ll make a thoughtful decision when you go to the polls.”

I still don’t know what issue he was advocating, or what candidate he was pulling for.

For more on the coming election, and my thoughts on the political process, please take a look at my Wake Forest Today column – “Vote Prayerfully My Friends.”

IMG_5545MORE THAN MERE DUST-BUNNIES: We had a quiet Halloween evening, and the pumpkins on the front stoop didn’t see any trick-or-treat action.

But Rebekah and I didn’t mind, because we really needed some down time after the epic Maul-Hall cleanup day we’d just completed.

Somewhere around Friday mid-morning Rebekah stepped into the garage looking for a space to park some of our Florida plants for tonight’s potential freeze. She shifted a couple of boxes, paused, looked around, and next thing I knew we were tackling 14-months of cumulative build-up.

We took the salvageable former kitchen cabinets and created garage storage, we used the old granite for work surfaces, we threw away mountains of debris, I took close to 20 paint-cans to hazardous waste recycling, and we actually made a little bit of sense of what remained.

the garage looking more "garagey"
the garage looking more “garagey”

It was a classic example of the “three-minute task morphs into ten-hour cleaning marathon” principle. I’m sure you know it well.

But it’s a good feeling, it always is. The clutter is removed, the stuff we need reorganized, and – once Naomi and Craig’s new house is built and we deliver their refrigerator – the possibility of a car in the garage has become more than a pipe-dream.

We all seem to have way too much clutter in our lives – so much baggage; so much that gets in the way of utilizing and enjoying the gifts and blessings that are essential, and the mess tends to get in the way of peace, purpose, and productivity.

I’ll leave us to draw our own spiritual lessons. It shouldn’t be too hard – DEREK






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