I remember the days when my desk (at home) was spotless, when the wood had a chance to show off its gleam, when the piles and clutter were not so rampant. OK, that’s an exaggeration, because my desk has always been more of a place where I have let my hair down and not so much a place where my Inner Organizer has had a chance to run the show. But it’s definitely changed enough lately for me to notice!

There’s an ink cartridge that needs to be recycled, a spindle of DVDs and another spindle of CDs, a roll of stamps, a can of pens, a yogurt container that was my “just in case” when I was sick, a book nestled by the calendar that my aunt and I need to finish discussing online, a framed photo of our first family picture in the hospital, the DVD of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, a word-a-day calendar, and the box of bills, right beside a stack of music CDs I dug out because the Idol show of “standards” had me yearning to listen to them. Oh but there’s more, so much more, always more.

The thing is, I want to be annoyed by my disorganization, but I’ll admit I have a romantic notion of how it all looks, from the half-read copy of Strunk & White’s Elements of Style to the tube of lotion and the box of staples. I have this idea that I’m focusing on What’s Important, when in fact I’m just avoiding the Necessary Cleaning. I want to think the flash drive likes to be tossed on an open spot where I can find it again, but really, the flash drive doesn’t care at all.

All this clutter made me think of how my spiritual life has been lately a reflection of my desk (or is my desk a reflection of the state of my spiritual life?). Driving home this morning from my weekly Adoration hour, I thought of the desert experience so many saints talk about. It wasn’t that long ago that I thought I came through the desert myself, finding myself unable to pray a rosary one morning. However, looking back and then doing some assessment of where I’m at now, I think maybe I am still there in the desert. I think maybe I need to send up a flare, because it is getting a bit…well, deserty. I feel like I’ve been dry, like I’ve been toiling forever, like I’ve been out in the sun too long.

And do you think it’s any accident that these reflections came to me at the beginning of May, the month of Mary? Could it be that Mary, dear Mother that she is, is tugging at me, pointing out that the shiner and the stubbed toe and the smashed finger are all evidence of needing to leave the dangerous room I’m in? (Toddler-tron had all those experiences already this week, and I’m unable to really think of this outside the metaphor of me-as-child, sorry.)

Our spiritual life and journey is really no different than any other aspect of our life. It has its ups and downs. I really like things to be all happiness and light and I really like for things to be EASY. The lesson for me might have to do with things not always being happiness and light, with things being much different than the easy I would prefer.

Who better for me to turn to than Mary? Mary, who said “yes!” to God many times. Mary, who said “yes!” with the spirit of acceptance and peace and joy. Mary, who will hold me as I struggle, and lead me to her Son, who will heal me and help me.