I’ve worked with nightmare spreadsheets. Lists of 100-200 names, plus contact info and assorted data – and nothing in alphabetical order. Frustration mounts as time ticks on… And hours pass while sorting through the mess of random facts in no particular order. When the solution is simple.
At hotels, in tall buildings, room numbers on the third floor begin with a 3.
Air terminals are designated A, B, C, D, E… gates B9 and B10 come after B8, consecutively in the same terminal. And the sky tram makes its rounds, announcing where it will arrive next. And flights are numbered.
And exits off the freeway are numbered.
And so many other things in this world are numbered.
In perfect order.
Paychecks are deposited periodically, once a month, every two weeks… Transactions listed on bank and credit card statements according to the dates they occurred, with accompanying data in rows and columns.
Again, in order.
And we like it this way. We prefer it this way.
At the neighborhood drug store we find allergy medicine in the allergy medicine aisle. Near the pharmacy. Not in the magazine racks.
We don’t find magazines displayed in the gardening center or grocery aisles.
And if they were, how long would it take us to take our business elsewhere, where the merchandise is stocked in some kind of order?
And how sad would it be if the seasons took random turns, and blizzards ruined summer vacations at the lake?
If the girl behind the ice cream counter asked what flavor we like, then closed her eyes, spun around, and reached in the first bin she found, scooping out pistachio instead of chocolate fudge swirl?
Do we welcome people who cut in line? When they disrupt the order and push their way through? Don’t we equate this behavior with arrogance? Inconsideration?
Yet, we resist those who expect order in our personal lives. When consistency and dependability are assumed, and regulating my natural impulses is required. When I’m not allowed the freedom to follow my fleshly inclinations. Where passions must be set aside, and overruled by a sense of rightness.
A lack of personal order stems from self-interest and leads to anarchy and chaos, in a lifestyle consumed – and too often destroyed – by pleasurable indulgence.
Resulting in a loss of God’s favor and power.
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. – Judges 21:25
An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. – Jeremiah 5:30-31
Ordering my private life brings order to my public life. And also to yours as our two lives intersect – overflowing into the other lives we touch.
The Word says order is kin to judgment and truth.
Where truth becomes relative and judgment is lax, order will be replaced by whim and right living will be out of style. Strange. Archaic.
Too often I am asked, Why work so hard? Why go to all the trouble? So what if the room’s a mess? It doesn’t matter and no one cares either way.
But God cares. And God is not the author of confusion. In the beginning He brought order out of chaos. And wherever His influence is present, order will result.
And righteousness will shine.