A Theology of Order

January 19, 2019

 

Last year I made a New Year’s Resolution to be more organized. I am somewhat organized but needed to focus on some piles that I let build, and some things that did not have a place to live permanently. There are certain areas in my house and even my life that I am obsessively organized about, maybe to a fault. Then there are other areas that I am still working on creating systems to bring order.

 

Some of us are prone to be organized while others have a need to grow in that area. That’s right, I believe organization and order are characteristics or practices that the Lord values and that we should live towards. We see from the very beginning of the Bible that God is a God of order. He created the world with unique and purposeful order. He is not a God of Chaos. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “For God is not a God of confusion…”. Confusion here means commotion or tumult, and in fact, this verse is tying together a section Paul wrote about orderly worship. Order is from God. Some of you just need to embrace that right now because you have such an inclination to spontaneity that you are experiencing an aversion to the idea of order and organization.

 

We pursue order because we are called to be like Christ, the son of God. It is also out of stewardship that we submit to and press into organization. As believers, we are all stewards of the gospel. We are called to steward our entire lives because of the gospel. This pertains not to just our finances, but our time, our resources, our influences, our spiritual gifts, our relationships, and our bodies. Stewardship is work and takes energy, attention, and time.

 

We must steward all that we have and that is why stewardship and order go hand in hand. We need order and systems in our lives so that we can steward what God has so graciously and abundantly given us. A plant does grow because we water it every third Sunday when there is nothing else taking our time. Nor does that plant survive in darkness because we thought enough light was getting through the curtains. In the same way, we must be active in the pursuit of managing all areas of our lives.

 

Think for a moment about the places in your life that seem chaotic or the times of day that bring you the most stress? Not in every case, but in many cases,  it is due to a lack of order. Are you a frantic mess trying to get out of the door? Yes, said every young mom everywhere. Change your systems to bring order. I realized I was creating stress every morning in my house trying to get everyone and everything ready to walk out the door on time, only to go back inside three more times and then try to make up for lost time driving with raised blood pressure only to still reach my destination a few minutes late.

 

To bring order to a time that has the disposition to stir chaos, I began setting my alarm. I have young children who tend to wake up early, so in my head, I was thinking that getting the most sleep was the priority, so I let them wake me up. However, I start my morning off reacting to them being awake instead of being prepared. Now that I set my alarm, I can get up and read my Bible and then begin the other morning routines. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still tired when the alarm goes off, but by the time my boys are out of their rooms I am ready and have been proactive in setting up for not only the day, but the tone of the day. Every morning isn't’ smooth and perfect, but I’m pursuing order and where there is order there is rest. Remember how order was created in the beginning? Rest was part of that order. When we let chaos run our lives, we are more tired than when we do the work to implement systems to lead us into good stewardship. It sounds like work, but we are called to work and then to rest.

 

Where do you need to ask God to help you bring order and discipline to steward well what he has given you? Your time, finances, your home, relationships? Can you work creating routines or systems to bring order and rest into places of chaos? God makes us able my friends. Seek the one who created all things to give you direction and help.

 

 

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