I’m coming off a period of several weeks when digital spam-senders have been sorely afflicting me. This experience got me to thinking about two kinds of people—those who create messes and those who sort them out. In this case, the mess-creators flooded me with unrelenting torrents of unwanted information.
Varieties of mess-makers invade other aspects of our lives—perhaps too many to waste ink on. The mess-sorters are another matter, worthy of notice and gratitude. These good folks take on the disarray that clutters our lives. They sort out our messes, leaving us with the strong possibility of new beginnings, start-overs that redeem our lives for what’s next.
In the case of my digital chaos, the mess-sorters were Geek Squad and ATT personnel in India, Columbia, Panama, Ireland and Atlanta. In matters of our health, they might be doctors, dieticians or occupational and physical therapists. In our personal lives, the mess-sorters might be friends, counselors, grandparents, assisted living workers, financial advisors or pastors. In matters of law, cops, lawyers, judges and juries help make sense out of our muddles. Tradespeople fix problems with our appliances and home systems. Big-picture disarray can be settled by politicians, CEO’s, supply chain gurus or algorithm programmers. By their expertise and philanthropy (love of people), these people give us another chance to live well.
How to thank them? Most obviously, we can try not to make more messes. With courage and hope, we can first try our own mess-sorting. We can complete the ubiquitous “post-service surveys.” We can express our specific gratitude, personally and generously. We can hone our own redemptive vocations or callings, our other-centered mess-sorting skills.
So, if this day presents you with chaotic disorder—messes—thank God for the mess-sorters who surround you. They deserve it….
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