Just maintain the proper order in all things.
– I Corinthians 14:40
When you think “well-ordered life,” what comes to mind? What visions fill you with longing? Which thoughts make you cringe?
Do you feel you’ve been drafted into a never-ending battle against bedlam, whose prisoners of war are the people you love?
Or have you conceded defeat, certain an orderly life is like a vacation home: something most people dream of, but few ever enjoy?
After twenty years on the front lines of this fight, I know the feeling. When I first became a parent, I could have used a framed sampler that read, “Do not lay up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust and small children destroy.” By the time my youngest was born, I was fully engaged in the clutter conflict.
Determined to conquer chaos once and for all, I sought expert advice in books and blogs. I bought boxes, baskets and bins. I made schedules, to-do lists and chore charts. I rearranged closets, cabinets and drawers with maniacal efficiency.
Yet no matter how hard I worked to organize my life, I couldn’t find order.
Hidden deep within my tidy-looking world was a ticking time bomb of jumbled emotions that exploded one peaceful summer day. Without warning, I found myself in the middle of the den, screaming at no one in particular:
“Why can’t anyone in this house ever PICK UP THEIR SOCKS?”
There I was, a grown woman, throwing a toddler-worthy temper tantrum over a little childish untidiness. In my determination to win the Clean House campaign, I was wounding my family in some not-so-friendly fire.
They needed triage. I needed a winning strategy. We all needed some Divine reorganization.
It’s amazing how much order we find once we look to the One who established it in the first place. For all who need help with life’s mess and confusion, God is the expert.
Because God is the author of order, not confusion.
– I Corinthians 14:33
Together we will seek God’s greater plan for order, one that incorporates spiritual, relational and individual perspectives. We will explore subjects like:
- Order and Eternity. Heavenly order in a messy, sinful world.
- Order and Reality. How life’s seasons and circumstances contribute to clutter.
- Order and Uniqueness. How individual differences determine what, how and why we clean.
- Order and Relationships. How to maintain order without messing up the people we love.
- Order and Belief. What our stuff says about our attitudes toward God, self and others.
Are you ready to dust off some obsolete ideas about order? Willing to sweep away common misconceptions and toss out any unhelpful habits?
Let’s see what happens as we allow God to unclutter our thinking, rearrange our priorities and wipe away those grimy, sinful attitudes. We’ll celebrate peace, freedom and order that lasts long after the next clean house project!
Did you miss The Well-Ordered Life, Part I? Find it here.