Time Marches On, and Clutter Takes a Toll

By Curtis K. Shelburne

Our church is in the midst of some very serious renovation and general “upgrading” of facilities, and that’s exciting! It’s also interesting.
Since my office/study is one of the areas being renovated, I have spent more time than I care to admit cleaning out one closet and one desk. It just seemed important that the old floor be found before the new one could be installed.
Here’s a list of just a few of the things I’ve found:
• A wall mounting bracket for a telephone that has long since expired.
• A cassette tape for a telephone answering machine that has long since quit answering.
• One houseshoe (I believe in comfort in the sermon factory, and why not?) whose partner I threw away a year or a few ago since I couldn’t find this one.
• Five rubber postage rate stamps (not the kind you used to lick; the WHOMP! stamp kind) not self-inking and three of which refer to rates that no longer exist, but they come complete with stamp pads and bottles of various colors of valuable stamp pad ink.
• A ton of keys to a ton of locks, most of whom are now in the bottom of a landfill somewhere and no longer much in need of keys.
• Three pitch pipes. (This desk has Church of Christ roots.) Why three? Well, you never know when you’ll need one. But I’m now ready to play a pitch pipe symphony in one man Campbellite band fashion if I’m ever called to do so.
• A dental appointment card for Thursday, April 14, at 3:00. Fine. I’m just not sure what year. According to my computer clock & date information, it could have been 1994 or maybe 1988. April 14 in 2005 will also be on a Thursday, which is about the right length away for me to feel really good about a dental appointment, but I don’t think they book that far ahead. I’m guessing it was 1994. I hope I went. (On the back of that appointment card are some notes about battery sizes for a watch that ran down and died long ago and which no battery will now help.)
• Various notes about stuff I really needed to do and people I really needed to see. I found enough now-stickyless Post It notes (now growing lint like hair where their sticky stuff used to be) to paper the office wall. I’m bad about writing “To Do” notes to me that get buried under other “To Do” notes to me—all of which may point to too much to do.
• An old 1985 “Prayer Chain” list with 41 names. Seven of those folks have moved, eight have died, two are in the nursing home, and a few have been AWOL from church for years, and . . .
Time marches on, doesn’t it? I’m so glad we have a cather whose loving care and mercy is eternal.
Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at
ckshel@aol.com