Wayne Clarke writes:
When we moved into our new building at BBC Radio Merseyside about five years ago, we were told it would be a paperless office. At the end of every day every desk would be cleared. There was to be no personal storage space because we wouldn't need it. There would be no personal items on any surface, and only "on message" corporate posters and notices on the walls.
It didn't work. My desk is far from the messiest in the building but it currently labours under piles of papers, stacks of CDs, a half-finished bottle of Diet Coke and assorted personal items. Other desks around me are decorated with family photos, thank you cards from listeners, and dirty coffee mugs.
The next generation of BBC offices take the theory one stage further. Much of the office space in the BBC buildings at Media City Salford has a radical "clear desk" policy. Individuals have a laptop and a mobile phone which are kept in a locker, and each day they collect these essentials of their work and sit at any available desk. We'll see how it works out in practice.
It seems to be part of our human nature to be nest-builders. We like to have a space that is personal and is ours. We enjoy our own familiar form of chaos. As those who bear the creative nature of God we live to create places that have meaning and personality.
I've been told a few times recently that Advent is the time to declutter - to clear out the messiness of our lives and strive for something simpler. I'm sorry, but I'm having none of it. For me Advent is not a time to banish the mess but to enjoy it. Advent is a creative time, a time when life is enriched by fresh insights into the grace of God, bursting into being from the divine imagination. Advent is the coming of the new world. It's the new creation emerging from the messiness of human life, bearing the hallmark of the dynamism of God. It's not tidy or sterile but God's design emerging from our human malleability.
So don't tell me to get rid of my clutter. This clutter is my life in messy piles, the seedbed of my best ideas.
Lord, just as your Son came into our chaos, make use of my ragged edges, my unformed ideas. Lord, bless my mess and make it yours.
Wayne Clarke is a Baptist minister and broadcaster on BBC Radio Merseyside
2 Dec 2011 at 10:10
Inspire 2nd December 2011 - Time for a declutter?
Posted by Patrick Woodward
Wayne Clarke writes: When we moved into our new building at BBC Radio ...
Wayne Clarke writes: