Life is Like my Refrigerator

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I’ve decided that life is like my refrigerator…

I hate cleaning my refrigerator.  I usually clean it at the point that shame (at my messy refrigerator) outweighs my dislike for the chore.  I don’t even understand how refrigerators get so dirty… except that my mom always said I was a really sloppy cook.  I cleaned my refrigerator yesterday because a friend is dog sitting this weekend and I didn’t want her to see my dirty refrigerator… OK, it’s that shame thing again.

The primary reason I hate cleaning my refrigerator (aside from the fact that I always spill water on my shirt and my kitchen floor during the process) is that I can never get the shelves and drawers back correctly in exactly the same configuration as I began with.  It’s so frustrating.  I don’t know how someone with a higher education can be completely thrawted and utterly defeated by a refrigerator… but my defeat is pretty consistent.  Until last night!  Last evening I managed to clean the entire refrigerator, remove every drawer and shelf and get them all back in with ease.  While one would think this accomplishment would fill me with joy, my response is one of utter disgust.  “Why?” you ask.  Because in about six weeks, my refrigerator and I will part ways when I move out of my house.  It will remain behind to gloat to its new owners of its roughly 10 and 1 record.  (OK, I’ve anthropomorphized my refrigerator, but indulge me.)

It dawns on me that life is a little like my refrigerator.  It seems that, just when I begin to feel like I am really catching on to something – really understanding how all of the pieces fit together – it is time to move on.  When I arrived at Castleton three years ago, one of my primary tasks (actually the only one that has remained consistent since day one!) was to focus on developing small groups.  I’d had some success beginning a small group ministry at my church in Gary.  But now, three years later, I realize how little I knew and how much of those first several months involved floundering and fumbling.  Over the past two years, mountains of books, conversations, research, etc. have taught me so much about effective small group discipleship.  And here it is: time to move on.

I once had a supervisor who assessed that I “like things a little edgey.”  By that I think she meant I enjoy a good challenge… although sometimes I’ve wound up biting off more than I can chew.  And yet, I suspect she’s right.  Life is continually changing and, without those new challenges, think of how bored we’d all be.   

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