This is an inventory of The Dwelling that housed The Testimony drawn up by order of Moses for the work of the Levites under Ithamar, son of Aaron the priest. Exodus 38:21 (MSG)
Just the word "inventory" creates deep groans inside of me. As a boy of 12, I was hired by my dad to help with inventory of the sign company in which he was a partner. I was excited at the prospect of working for my dad's company and getting a paycheck. Then, my dad took me back to this dark corner of the shop. There were, what seemed at the time, endless rows of shelves (think of the final shot in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark and you get the picture). On these shelves were boxes. In the boxes were screws, bolts, nuts, and washers. Lots of them. Different sizes. Different shapes.
And they had to be counted. One by one they had to be "inventoried."
Taking inventory is not a task that elicits celebratory cartwheels in average folk . It's one of those detail tasks that right-brained people, like me, would rather avoid like H1N1. It's boring to do, and it's certainly boring to read about in the book of Exodus.
Nevertheless, taking inventory is an important task. I need to stop once in a while to take stock of where I've been, where I'm at, and double-check where I'm headed. It's good to figure out what's essential, what's important, and what's not. Determining where I'm investing wisely (with time, energy, finances, and relationships) and where I'm investing poorly is crucial to making mid-course corrections.
Taking "inventory" in life sounds about as exciting to me as counting a giant box of screws, but it's never proved to be a waste of time.