Decency and Order to the Rescue

I Corinthians 1440

We live a pretty busy life!

Between Steve’s airline schedule, conference speaking, running kids to soccer, swimming, and baseball, teaching my ladies class, and the odd midnight, “I just have to talk,” moments with my 18 year old daughter… Life is busy!

But, the last couple of weeks have pushed the envelope of busyness, even for us.

Busy days make everything seem out of whack. I feel behind on life and sometimes it feels like I’m running in front of a giant ball of responsibilities that’s just waiting to roll me over.

That’s when “decency and order” become my best friends, my closest allies, my rescuers from the craziness!

I Corinthians 14:40 “And do everything in a decent and orderly way.”

I don’t think God’s surprised that our days get so overwhelmingly overloaded with activities and relationships. There’s nothing we experiece that’s “new” and “surprising” to Him. He created us to work hard. He delights to fill our days with “Divine Appointments”. He created us to co-exist within relationships.  And, He and He alone can equip us to bear up, press on, and just keep going.

What does decent and orderly even mean?

Honestly, I think it means different things to different people. It isn’t a standard of perfection. It isn’t a home that is a showplace. It isn’t a daytimer with every moment of every day accounted for and neatly color-coded.

No, decent and orderly is that place where our activities and relationships are able to thrive in an atmosphere that promotes the sweetly peaceful and winsome nature of our God.

So, what’s decent and orderly to me may be of NO importance to you…And vice versa!

However, I have discovered three areas, in particular, that really help me reach that “sweetly peaceful and winsome” goal…

Uncluttered space, an uncluttered calendar, and uncluttered relationships help me live a life that is decent and orderly.

I grew up in a messy home. It wasn’t just cluttered, my house was dirty and always in desperate need of a good deep cleaning! We never cleaned and organized, we just shuffled stuff from here to there. Probably because of that, I tend to be fairly uptight about keeping my living spaces orderly. I’ve seen first hand that uncluttered counters, couches, and tables are an aid in creating calmness, concentration skills, and clearer communication. Because I’ve seen the results, I’m fairly consistent with the process.

Except in the car! Honestly, a cluttered car has never bothered me… Not even once! Unfortunately, that’s not true for my dear husband. He Just.Wants.It.Clean.

Come on! We have eight kids! There were times when all the kids were little that the big, blue van looked like a preschool classroom barfed its entire storehouse of craft supplies all over the floor. Times that giving the toddler french fries meant we could eek another hour of driving in… What’s the big deal about a few smooshed fries on the floor, anyway?

I could ignore it all and just close the car door behind me! But not Steve… Oh no! It caused him angst, and strife, and heartburn. For 30 years now that messy car can just ruin his day!

Hmmm… Come to think of it, maybe I should just clean the car. What a novel idea. I wonder if that throws me into the “If you know the good you ought to do and don’t do it…” category?  Oh well, enough about that topic! 

So, what areas in your life and day could us a little “decency and order” realigning? Do you need to organize some counters ? Clear some space in your calendar? Rejuvenate and restore some messy relationships?

I can’t say it isn’t work to initiate decency and order, but the work is worth it! Don’t let cluttered spaces, cluttered calendars, and cluttered relationships keep you from an uncluttered walk with Jesus. Decency and order… It isn’t just for neat freaks anymore!