My husband, Neil, has been creating a lot of useful items in his woodwork shop lately. He is pretty handy that way. He is also good with finances and has been the treasurer at our church for quite a few years. These two skills have come together recently, as he is helping a friend of ours.
Our friend has transitioned to a lovely apartment, downsizing as she moved. A few financial items needed to be squared away, so Neil stepped up to help. He has spent a little time getting those matters in order and, in the meantime, he created a wooden mail organizer as a gift for our friend. This creation has upright slots for mail, bills to be paid, etc. It is beautifully made, and I am sure it will come in handy in her new environment.
Isn’t that just what we all need, someone to step up to the plate and organize our lives so that our focus is where it needs to be?
And where is it that our focus needs to be? That is the question we must answer before we start getting organized.
I have a friend who might say she’d like help in getting her clutter under control and another that might enjoy someone organizing her craft room. Not many of us want to take that big step and seek help to organize our entire life.
Most of us prefer to just get this one area cleaned up or maybe that spot over there that embarrasses us when it is seen by a stranger. But surely not our entire life needs straightened out, or does it?
If we are walking with our Lord Jesus, He is very clear in His instructions on how we should live. Those instructions are not set out in the Bible as one through 100, they are simply shown to us throughout the Bible by the standards that God the Father desires.
We can follow the Ten Commandments, which certainly gives us a starting point. Better than that, we can watch how the prophets lived their lives in obedience, even to the point of personal humiliation. Closer towards the goal is watching every move that Jesus made in His life. After all, theultimate goal of our life as a Christian should be, “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”
That is some goal, isn’t it? How much organization do I need to get that far? Let’s just say I won’t quite reach it perfectly this side of heaven, but that doesn’t mean that isn’t my goal.
Honestly, I fall backward probably almost as often as I gain ground with this goal for my life. No matter how organized and prepared I am in my heart to walk the way my Savior walks, my sinful nature sneaks up on me and I end up falling into that trap yet again.
So, I aim to keep my mind on things above, “Therefore, since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”
Of course, when I am driving in heavy traffic, I find it is easy to get off target, or when I’m having a ‘discussion’ on a viewpoint that I believe to be God’s viewpoint shown in the Bible, but which may differ from another’s.
If it were easy, we would all be ready for heaven now, wouldn’t we? No, we would not. God asks us to be obedient and He allows us to choose to follow or not.
To get to where I want to be in obedience, I need to have my personal life organized enough that I have time to pray and read Scripture. I have to be able to understand the Scripture I read, so I must also take time to study those passages and sit under a teacher/preacher who has studied the Word. I need to make time to attend Bible studies and/or adult Christian education classes.
It sounds like a lot of time, and it is. But I am getting organized!
I realize how easy it is to get lost in an evening of television, Facebook, Twitter, or other media. Four hours can disappear in a flash while I am doing things with no earthly or, for that matter, heavenly value. This is where the rubber meets the road – setting aside time.
My goal is to get organized this year, gain momentum where I have lost it, get my nose into Scripture, and seek to make my prayer life a thing of beauty.
I am asking God to help me with all of this because, for me, a mere human, this is impossible. Feel free to join me in what I hope will be a great spiritual increase in 2023.
ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City. Email her at writerGoodGod@gmail.com.