The Mess of Productivity

This was my kitchen table last week.


Yeah, I tidied it up a bit for the picture. But it sure was messy. I’m working on Christmas gifts and a quilting project using my dad’s old ties. There are interview notes for a news story I was working on, preparations for a women’s Bible study I lead, papers to bring to a Toastmasters meeting and government business to attend to.

Back in the days when all our kids were still at home, it used to get far worse — heaped with schoolwork, baby toys, sewing, business papers, LEGO, crumbs…

A proverb from the Bible brought me contentment in those days with the way things so often looked, and it did when I read it again the day I took this photo. “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” (Prov. 14:4)

The idea here is that a lot more farming can be accomplished with oxen, but that growth comes at a price — animals need to be fed and watered, housed, trained and protected.

Back then, I had plenty of mess and responsibility, but I also had plenty of oxen (children) so more could be accomplished. All that growth and productivity doesn’t come without mess, both material mess and emotional, relational mess. But eventually, something new, improved, home-grown rises out of all the detritus. From the messy table of yesteryear have grown our adult children who bring us joy and make it all worthwhile. And from last week’s messy table?


Princess dresses for my twin granddaughters to play in.

This entry was posted in contentment, productivity and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Mess of Productivity

  1. Gordon Akin says:

    And you read Tabletalk magazine!


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