Papers multiplied on the kitchen table. Bills, ads, magazines, coupons, articles from the newspaper, a birthday card, that sweet note from a friend, teetered in stacks, and somewhere buried in the piles was a tuition check. I screeched when Hubby announced he was picking up the mail. “No,” I cried. I could not possibly stand another piece of paper in our home.
Each night at dinner, the stacks were gathered up neatly and placed on empty chairs, counter tops, even the floor to make room for the evening meal. I cringed just thinking what my mother would say if she was still here to witness this disarray. Friends who stopped by for a visit were ushered into the everything-in-its-place room, deceptively producing the desired effect that our home was a place of order and peace. I’ve given many thanks for that formal living room with its cream colored sofas brushed with a blue floral print and the two French blue wing back chairs that accent the decor.
But pretending our life is in order and that we “have it all together” does not exemplify God. Our God is a god of order. He created the world with a distinctive plan. First came the heavens and the earth. Then there was the light and darkness known as day and night. Then His hand separated the expanses of water, and there was the sky. Next was the dry land and the seas. And so He continued each day, noting that everything was good. It was following a design.
Can you imagine if God created the sea creatures first, and then said, “Oh my goodness, I forgot to make the oceans for them to swim in. Where shall I store these slimy, wiggly things until I get around to forming the oceans?” Sounds ludicrous. Yet, how many times do I get my priorities out of place so that my life becomes disorderly. As God’s child, created in His image, I am to reflect His character. And that includes orderliness.
Woven throughout Scripture are examples of God’s character of order. He instructed the Israelites how to build the temple in deliberate detail and stages. He commanded them to celebrate the Passover following a specific plan or they would die. Before He created man and woman to fellowship with in the garden, He already had a plan in place to redeem them. Through Moses, He gave the Israelites commandments to follow that would bless them and prosper them. He gave them the plan, the order to follow that would give them success.
When Jesus came, the Father already had worked out how His son would be born, how He would minister, and how He would die to save us from our sins. Every step had to be followed to a “T”, or we would be lost forever.
I certainly do not want my spiritual life to be in disarray and not hear from the Lord, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” But at the same time, I do not want my daily life to be out of order either. My lack of discipline clouds the presence of the Lord to others.
Therefore, an edict was issued in our home. ” Take the next half hour to go through your pile and put it away.” This will take weekly practice on the same night right after dinner. We may get so good at it, that we will feel comfortable having friends lounge with us in any room of our home.
Paul wrote to the Colossians about their orderliness: “For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.” Colossians 2:5 NIV
Where can you find evidence in Scripture of God’s orderly character? What is your solution for imitating this quality of our Father?