Last week we were doing apartment inspections in Brooklyn. The first apartment we went to was a newly renovated apartment that we have been renting for about 6 months. We were not too concerned about how the apartment was being cared for because we knew the missionaries fairly well and they knew we were coming.
They greeted us at the outside door looking like well groomed missionaries. We walked up the flight of stairs to their apartment, and were in for a bit of a surprise! Every wall had something taped or tacked on it, along with a string of Christmas lights -- a mission "no no"; clothes were draped over every horizontal space; and about five pairs of shoes lay under the study desks (not to mention the slippers). The desks were cluttered leaving not much room for studying. They were in the process of making lunch so we understood the kitchen was being used. I don't even want to mention the condition of the floors. Needless to say, we had a sit down discussion with them and they agreed to make the necessary changes.
After we left, the office elders arrived to pick up an extra bed that had been used for a trio (a third temporary missionary). The office elders and the two missionaries decided they would all carry the mattresses downstairs. Always so helpful.....but in the process they forgot to take the apartment keys, and the door slammed shut behind them--locked. The office elders had the spare office key with them, but it did not work. Unable to pick the lock, we were called to arrange for a locksmith and cover the payment. An hour's drive later we were back to the apartment to meet with the locksmith and use our credit card for the $429 charge. What had started out as a 30 minute apartment inspection turned into an expensive 4 hour learning experience for all concerned.
Next we went to an apartment that was one of the smallest and oldest apartments in the mission. We were not hopeful. Again the missionaries, being well groomed, met us at the door. Up two more flights of stairs holding our breath as to what we might find.
Their apartment was spotless and in perfect condition. We asked them how they liked the apartment and they replied, "It's fine. We try to keep in neat and clean otherwise it would be very depressing." They made our day.
This makes me wonder . . . . Are we cluttering up our lives with unnecessary junk? Are we hanging on to past goals that were not met due to unseen circumstances or our own weaknesses? Do we blame others or fret over old mistakes that weigh us down? Are we worrying about things that are out of our control?
All of this "junk" can prevent us from becoming who we should be. Concentrate on the now and move forward.
Remember, you are in control of your happiness, since you are in control of your attitude.