Don’t Neglect Your Mess far from our home is a dentist office that advertises the latest in dental technology. The building is beautiful and modern. The fancy sign on the roof includes the time and temperature, as if to say, “We set trends in the dental world.” Driving by the office gives a person the impression that if you were in the market for a new dentist, you’d be crazy not to go there. Walking by, however, is another story.

The building has two large front windows minus blinds or shades. One window gives a person a view of the waiting room. From the outside it looks neat and welcoming with neatly-arranged magazines and comfortable chairs. The other window gives a clear view of the administrator’s office. I don’t know how else to say this except that it’s an absolutely disastrous mess. Sloppy files are piled along the window. Papers are stacked on the counter, the desk and the floor. It looks like someone tossed their unfinished work into a room and shut the door, forgetting the mess they left behind. Out of sight, out of mind. What they fail to realize is that there’s a large uncovered window through which the rest of the world can view the mess.

One day when I was out for my morning walk, the administrator pulled into the parking lot at the side of the building where the entrance is. Since the windows are situated at the front of the building, she doesn’t see what the office looks like to people on the outside. I’ll wager the dentist isn’t aware of it either. A quick walk around the building would show them that what they think is safely hidden inside is in full view of everyone else.

I almost said something to the administrator about the outside-to-inside view, but I just quickened my pace and finished my walk. “It’s their problem,” I thought to myself. Now that I think about it, I might have done them a tremendous favor by pointing out the inconsistency.

I hope people will tell me if they see something “messy” in me that I don’t see. Sometimes I’m like the administrator who parks in one spot and sees things only from one view, when a quick 360 walk-around of my life would make me aware of things that need to be changed and fixed.

So, before I point out all of the flaws at the dental office, maybe I should step back and look through  my own windows to see what things I’ve neglected by carelessly throwing them into a room, locking the door and hoping no one else will notice.

Sigh . . . Another thing on my emotional to-do list. But I always feel better when I straighten out a mess. It’ll be worth it.