Wish it Were the Olden Days
Can I be the first to tell you that, I HATE
PAPER! One of my largest pet peeves, is the accumulation and clutter
of paper. As I sit here and type this right now, I glance around
my desk to see the following:
- This weeks copy of our town newspaper, received
- Old checks that the bank sent back to me
- A business card
- An empty envelope
- ATM and other various receipts
- A post it pad, and about 6 post it's scattered
around the desk
- Piles of miscellaneous stacks of flyers
that they needlessly send you with EVERY bill you get, of which
there are also at least three on the desk as well.
- An old copy of our town newspaper, received
who knows when!
So on and so forth, you get the point. And IT
BOTHERS ME! I get so sick of papers being on my desk, that on the
floor next to my chair, there are several addition piles. I get
real sick of those too! Let me tell you why I dislike this clutter
so much. I get it, and I'm not sure what it is. So I glance at it,
and am really not sure whether it's of value to keep or not. I somehow
convince myself that it will do me good to hold on to this little
piece of random literature. So I put it somewhere to review later.
Well, that revision rarely happens, and I end up just throwing all
kinds of stuff out without looking at it anyway, out of pure frustration
with the clutter! SO WHY! WHY ALL OF THIS MESS!
How did we get to the point in our society where
we need so much paper? We didn't need this much paper a hundred
years ago. We are bounds past where we were a century ago in technology,
yet we've got paper coming out of our ears. We just need it so much!
It's used on a regular basis probably more than any one thing in
our modern world. Yet, it's not modern at all. It's still the same
old paper that it was when it was first created. It's probably about
the only thing that is that way. With every thing else there have
been better versions, additions, improvements, and advancement more
than we though possible. Yet, with paper…not so much. I would
even say that we've gotten to the point where we abuse paper. We
have made so many needless uses of paper that it's ridiculous.
How much easier would all of this be if it were
a hundred years ago, or more, and I lived in some random town out
west, and had my house up in the mountains somewhere, and just didn't
have all of this paper surrounding me? It would be A LOT easier!
And many times I almost wish it were the "olden days."
No calendars or day-timers, no newspapers, no flyers and circulars,
no post-its, no checks, no receipts, or any of the things that drown
me in my office right now! Perhaps an occasional book, like the
Bible, or another piece of enjoyment literature. Paper is much more
appealing to me when it's bound and contained in the neatly organized
entity of a book. Have you ever thought about what life would be
like, like this? I honestly do, quite a bit. And I think about my
job, and if it would be possible without all of these things. And
you know what? It would be! Of course, my church would maybe only
have 100 members or so, and what would be equivalent to my "database"
of kids would only be about 10-40 or so, and they WOULD definitely
come to church every weekend where I could contact them, and plan
out a week or even a month of activities at a time with them. And
you know what else? Right now I send out a newsletter, consisting
of paper, once a month that probably less than 30% of those receiving
it actually read! So there, one more area where paper fails me!
Man, this would be great! Youth Ministry in
the olden days. But instead I am frustrated by my abundance of papers.
I am in no way saying that I am ungrateful for the time God has
placed me in. I am incredibly thankful for living in a time where
the comforts of living have developed so much that I don't have
to think about building my own house, or bringing the milk in from
the cows, or farming my own food, or sowing all of my own clothes.
I am very thankful I learned how to operate a motor vehicle, and
not the reigns of a horse. I am grateful that if I need to go to
a foreign country, I can fly there in a matter of hours, and not
have to travel there by boat over the course of weeks or more! This
is truly a great time that we live in.
But that doesn't mean I can't use my imagination
wondering how it would be like in my world without the clutter of
paper. I just recently made the switch to a "palm pilot"
so I don't have to carry around a pile of papers several inches
thick in my "planner," just shoving more little pieces
of paper in it, having things sticking out the sides of it in all
directions. Yeah, that's organized! I love my palm pilot and how
it lacks paper! I can keep track of my whole life, just as well,
or better than those using conventional paper planners, with no
paper at all. How sweet is that? I love using my laptop computer.
I use it for everything. Notes, schedules, lesson plans, everything!
I'm even going to make the transition soon to paying my bills on-line,
which means less checks! I'm tempted to start taking all of my notes
at meetings on my laptop. But, I think about the few other people
who do so, or bring their computers to meetings (whether or not
they are taking notes is another issue) and how annoying it is to
listen to them typing while someone else is talking or what have
you. So in those cases I write notes, and just stick them in a file,
so I only have to see them on the regular basis of whatever meeting
it's for. And I just transfer the important info before I tuck them
I guess both of these items sort of negate my
idea of the "olden days," but as I said, I do enjoy this
age of technology and comforts. If they are available to me and
are not threatening or harmful in any way, I have no problem using
them. If they'll make my life a little less cluttered, I'm all for
If you've never stopped to think about how fortunate
we are to live in such a comfortable time, you should. Think about
what differences there would be if you lived in the year 1800. Some
of you might even decide you would prefer that. I told you I would
enjoy many aspects of it. However, survival these days is getting
closer and closer to requiring such high-tech items that I mentioned
before. I guess if I had to make the best case scenario in "the
now," just give me a laptop, palm pilot, and a cabin in the
mountains with no paper clutter, and I'll be all set.