The following is a guest post by Shannon Upton.
One day in my high school Algebra II class, we heard an announcement come over the PA: “Last call for any clubs or groups to have their photos taken for the yearbook.” My ordinarily serious math teacher grinned at us and said, “We should go down there with our calculators and take a picture.”
This was back when graphing calculators were all the rage in secondary math education and we all thought they were at least a little cool. We grabbed our calculators and followed our fearless leader, Mr. Holton, out of the classroom. Before we knew it, we were standing in the school’s atrium grinning like fools, holding our calculators by our faces. It was the one and only meeting of what Mr. Holton confidently asserted was The Calculator Club.
Well, until almost exactly one year later. I was in English class when I heard the announcement: “Would the members of the Calculator Club please gather in the atrium for your yearbook picture.” I looked at another Calculator Club alum, shrugged, and left class with him. When we arrived, we found not just the twenty or so who had been in Mr. Holton’s Algebra II class the previous year, but around 40 calculator-wielding individuals.
The next year there were over 70 kids in the picture, all saying “Cheese” with their cheesy calculators.
And it was all a sham! How I laugh when I see those photos in my yearbooks—the appearance of a club that had no meetings, no real members, no depth.
But being in the Calculator Club as an adult is no laughing matter. Sometimes we all get the feeling that we’re faking, putting on a show, when we don’t really know what to do. And we can all do things just for the sake of appearance…
…like when we clean up our houses for guests without ever really getting organized. …or overschedule our families because we want to seem and feel like great parents. …or show up in church but not really worship while we’re there.
The true Christian life is a calling to be all in. Not just showing up for appearance’s sake or doing the right thing on the surface, but digging deep into God’s Word and claiming the abundance He promises for us.
My ministry is about using organization as a tool to live that abundant life. I don’t talk about organizing just to “be organized” (or look organized on the surface); I help women discover and clear out their spiritual clutter—the negative thoughts and fears that keep us from enjoying our homes, families, and even faith.
When we focus on appearances or try to live up to other people’s standards, we’re missing the peace we find when we really deal with the things that bother us. If it’s cluttering our spirit, we need to discover the root cause. Then we can either prayerfully take action, or prayerfully surrender it to our Lord.
So what has you feeling like a member of the Calculator Club? Are some of the things you do for sake of appearance, but you’re still feeling the stress underneath? Take the time to listen for that spiritual clutter and discover the deeper issues you face when it comes to time or household management. Then decide to get organized about the important things and let go of the unrealistic expectations.
We all feel like members of the Calculator Club sometimes—you’re not alone. But I’d love to help! Hop on over to OrganizingJesusMoms.com to find the two Organizing You books, free resources, and my blog about clearing out your spiritual clutter.