For decades my pocket diary (or calendar for US friends) has accompanied my every move. Over the years I have experimented with different sizes and layouts. Occasionally I have mislaid one - but never for long. It has been an indispensable tool. In ministry it was filled with duties right through twelve months, often with commitments in the next year's space squeezed at the back. Ever since 1987, I have had to log in the three monthly Botox injections that lay ahead to ensure none clashed with major absences. Gradually it became an indispensable guide to email addresses and passwords. Every December I laboriously recopied them into the next diary. And always it kept personal data for my leaky memory.
The last few weeks have been frantic because my precious diary disappeared. Desperately I have searched in all the obvious places. Where did you last use it? etc. Everywhere I began hopefully. Surely, it had to be somewhere! And every time the search failed. Someone helpfully chided me for not using my phone calendar.
Eventually, I concluded that when I last saw it had to be on my desk among a heap of papers. A big untidy heap. (I hope Carol doesn't read this - she has strong views on the state of my desk. She came me a plaque PLEASE DON'T CLEAN UP MY MESS. YOU'LL CONFUSE ME AND SCREW UP MY WORLD!) Alongside my desk is a large waste bin in which there is often an untidy heap of papers too. With a heavy heart I realized that the diary must have slipped into the waste bin as the heap occasionally avalanches. In the past multiple pens and even books have slid out of sight. Usually I would check but woe is me...I failed this time.
However, life has slowed down with ageing, Appointments, which in Spurgeon's could be four years ahead, are now absent. I am attempting to use my phone diary and am coming to terms with my loss as bravely as possible.