I have this small fear of opening up my house windows after weeks or months of having them closed. In the window sills dirt and grime build up as well as spiders and other little mysterious creatures. I’m not afraid of spiders or mysterious creatures, in fact spiders are okay, but the mysterious creatures get in the house, fly around and I spend most of my evenings cursing the heavens swatting them with a fly swatter.
In my basement and other cool areas of the house, live the camel cricket or as my wife likes to call them jumping spiders. They are ugly, they look like little gremlins and the only way to stop them is with a huge foot or book, then splat, cleaning them up is almost as bad as chasing them.
There are often duties in the youth ministry realm I think we treat like dirty window sills and cluttered basements. We are afraid to approach them because of what we might find. In fact we avoid them until it is absolutely necessary, then we are annoyed by all the little things that seem to emerge from something so standard. Here are the three areas I hate to approach:
- Paperwork – Forms, application, permission slips build up on my desk from retreats and events and for some reason they just won’t file themselves. When I do get to them there’s data missing or a payment due and it’s just like ugh, really, where’s the secretary or intern I can’t afford to do this stuff?
- Emails – I check my email everyday but then deleting them is another issue. Well, let me rephrase, I think I check email everyday and then when my inbox hits 1 million and I start deleting I realize I never emailed that parent back about the big important thing that I promised I would.
- Phone Messages – Again I check my phone messages but instead of immediately calling the person back I leave it for “later that afternoon”, which never comes or flies by before I can get a chance to call them. Then I’m on my way home and I think, “Crap, should of called fill in the blank.”
A secretary, intern or office worker would help with some of these issues, but it really comes down to building a system where you get on top of these things and make sure you fall behind. When you don’t respond to the effort of others (like them contacting you with a question or filling out a form for an event you planned) it can then show some disrespect. It’s the same with our house, if we don’t clean on a frequent and regular basis, the clutter builds.
What area do you leave alone and then hate to approach?