I’ve begun reaming out my office. It’s not that there’s a lot of trash and I do keep the wastebasket emptied on a regular basis, it’s just I find it hard to part with the somewhere around 1,500 articles I’ve had published. Add to that the years’ worth of various reports written or researched.
Every printed page, every transcript of interviews and every corresponding newspaper “tear sheet” adds up to a lot of space. Three filing cabinets full, in fact. Oh yes, and that’s not counting a couple of cardboard filing boxes neatly tucked under my desk or in the basement storage area.
So, I ask myself, after close to two decades of writing for publication, why now? Why this urgent need to clear the room of all that once was written?
I’ve come up with two responses: first, I can hear the groans of my kids if they inherit the stuff. At least I will send each page through the paper shredder in a respectful manner. On the other hand I’m fairly convinced they’ll chuck them out with a bit of Christian-style cussin’ on the side. That’s the first reason.
In all honesty, though, the primary reason for this act of purging is to remove distractions as I move forward in my writing career; finding room for new opportunities demands cleaning out some of those former things.
As I get rid of what was written, I remember other times and places, recall an outstanding piece of work created early in my career or cringe at other articles that would never leave my desk now without a sound edit. Awards and trophies remain proudly displayed.
John, writer of the Book of Revelation, points to an even greater occasion for God’s children:
“There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”