A Measure of disorder

A Measure of Disorder

4th August 2013

There are several definitions of the word entropy given by my online dictionary. The one I prefer is the shortest of the five listed. It describes entropy as "A measure of the disorder and randomness in a closed system." In other words it's a perfect description of what goes on behind the closed door of almost every high school or college student's bedroom, my daughter's room being no exception.

This summer has been worse than usual. I was away for a while in hospital, and since getting home I've been stuck downstairs on a bed in a corner of the living room. Without my gentle maternal reminders or, as she would probably say, without my constant nagging, by the time my daughter left us to return to the UK, her room looked very much as though a twister had passed through town.

But who am I to point the finger. When I consider the habitual state of my desk or my art studio, I'm not much better, particularly when I'm working on several projects at the same time. Snowdrifts of paper tend to engulf the once neatly stacked "pending" pile. Paint pots and paintings stack up on every available surface, more and more canvasses prop against the walls. Periodically I have to stop everything and sort it ALL out and put it ALL away. But then I start work again

IMG 1423

My Desk...

It does make me wonder how some people seem have an innate capacity to live well-ordered lives, to be so disciplined. Maybe the secret of their success is simplicity. They aren't caught up on the tyrannical treadmill of "busyness". In my heart of hearts I know I do far too much. When I list it all, it's scary. I paint, I teach Art and English, I write and translate, I try to cook and clean our large old French farmhouse, and do the garden (but we won't talk about that at the moment). Then there's church, where my husband is on the leadership team, and until recently I was running the crèche, and producing illustrated teaching materials for the Sunday school. I'm not surprised that Ive had less and less energy to sing, or that there seemed to be less and less time in my life for friends, for me, and truth to tell, for God.

In contrast, my current lifestyle is simple. I'm still confined to my downstairs bed. I have one small cupboard where I keep my clothes, a drawer under the bed for towels and linen. A small night stand, a shelf for my Bibles and notebooks, a mug full of pens and pencils, my tablet, my meds, my phone. I do my prescribed walks and exercises. I read my Bible. I pray and I sing, all wonderfully uplifting. Then I see friends, and call or write them. Finally I write poems, songs or "thoughts for day" or night, depending when inspiration arrives.

Part of me is nervous about getting back on my feet, of picking up the pieces again, as there are just too many of them... I have to make some radical choices, and stop a lot of what I have been doing before it stops me. Because, when it is my time to go, I don't want my loved ones to have to sort out the massive muddle of my life, I want to sort it out now.

Reading in the Gospel of Matthew yesterday, I was struck by the words of John the Baptist: "Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." This dire warning was directed at the Pharisees and Sadducees, but it so fits with Jesus' words to His disciples in John 15 when He talks about the vine and the branches. "Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit - as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me."

So, it's time to get out the pruning shears. But it's also time to reverse my order of priorities, with regard to the list I wrote earlier. It's time for God to be restored to the first place in my life. In Matthew 16, Jesus also said to His disciples: "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up His cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but who ever loses his life for My sake will find it."