Don’t get buried beneath the pile of life

businessman_office_93242In my house, we have a pile of kids school work. Maybe you know this kind of pile? It is the one where all the worksheets and coloring papers get piled up. We let that pile go until it is so large that it is falling over. At which point we go through it, decide what is important and then pitch the rest. Maybe you have a pile like that?

I am glad to get the school work and we celebrate the good grades and work through the low grades, but that pile is always there. Somedays we scream at the pile for being so large. Other days we ignore the pile and hope it will magically clean itself. Once, we actually bought a bigger container to hold all of the papers, now those papers overflow that container. The only thing that seems to get the pile smaller and more manageable is actually sorting the pile of papers and dealing with them.

Once we have dealt with the pile of papers our house is happier, we can find light switches, and we can walk through our house normally without fear of having the entire pile topple over if we accidentally bump something. It is a great feeling of true freedom when that pile is dealt with.

I think if we are all honest, we have a pile like that somewhere. Maybe not a physical pile, but maybe a digital one on our email inbox. Maybe it is a pile of bills that need to be paid or laundry that needs to be done or debt that is out of control, or it is the hard conversations that have been left unsaid for far too long.

Often times we try to deal with these piles by ignoring them, cursing at them, or dealing with part of the pile with promises to come back and deal with it later. Unfortunately, none of that works. It is impossible to tackle the problems in our life without working through the entire pile. We all have good intentions and we say things like “I’ll deal with that later” or “over the weekend I have time to go through it all” or even “I’ll have that conversation tomorrow,” but then we get busy and distracted and the pile continues to grow. Worse yet, sometimes tomorrow doesn’t come and we are left with a pile of unsaid words that we never get to say.

In the Bible, in Luke 12 there is a story of a man who has huge piles of stuff. He has acquired all kinds of things and he says to himself that instead of dealing with the pile of stuff he is going to build a bigger barn to hold all his stuff. Jesus calls this man a fool because at any moment his life will end and

the amount of stuff he has will no longer matter.

Too often we are just like this man in the Bible, we want to just keep gathering and building piles and hope they will go away on their own. Someday it may be too late, someday we may not get to say those unsaid words because we have been buried under a pile of children’s worksheets.

So then, may you deal with the piles of your life. May you deal with them strategically and quickly before it is too late.

Worship services are held at California United Methodist Church, 227 Third St., every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. On the first Wednesday of each month, the church hosts a community potluck at 6 p.m.

To help support the CUMC’s Weekend Feeding program, which feeds hungry kids, visit

By Pastor B.T. Gilligan for Pennsylvania Bridges