To be organized, consider God's order
From the July 22, 2019 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel Audio from JSH: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/issues/2019/7/121-29-30/to-be-organized-consider-god-s-order
Judging by the popularity of shows about how to stay organized and how to downsize, and the number of books about organization, there’s no question many people today are looking to be more organized and orderly. While practical steps can be wonderfully helpful, how do we make these habits long-lasting and consistent?
I wanted to get better at organization and order. Yet, with work, extracurricular activities, a lively household, and being pulled in so many directions, it seemed impossible to keep it all straight! Can disorganization be healed?
The answer is yes. When we gain a better understanding of where order comes from, we see it expressed in our lives. My study of Christian Science has shown me that true orderliness comes from God alone, and if man is made in God’s image, as the Bible says, then everyone naturally reflects that order. In fact, expressing God’s order is a delight for God’s spiritual reflection.
As I began praying about order, I wasn’t trying to will myself into being more orderly. There is a difference between self-imposed order and the consistent expression of the orderliness that comes from God. Self-imposed order could be here one day, but not the next. God-derived orderliness is something that we naturally express and that is here to stay. Christian Science discoverer Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The poet’s line, ‘Order is heaven’s first law,’ is so eternally true, so axiomatic, that it has become a truism; and its wisdom is as obvious in religion and scholarship as in astronomy or mathematics” (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 87). When our focus is on the law governing what we already spiritually are and have, this brings long-lasting motivation. A good habit is revealed as a natural way of living.
I also found it helpful to realize that order is connected to our thought and view of ourselves. The last verse of Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual interpretation of the twenty-third Psalm has been especially helpful to seeing this connection of our house with our consciousness: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [love] for ever” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 578). What are we really putting in order? A house? An office? Our life? Or are we putting our consciousness in order?
Whenever my home felt disorganized, I’d examine my thoughts. I’d ask myself, “What needs to go—cluttered thoughts? A fear of letting go? A lack of generosity? A lack of love and consideration for those sharing my household?” My prayers have helped me see every problem—even a seeming lack of order—as a false statement about our true, spiritual nature. Even when things feel cluttered or unclear, we are actually at one with the divine Mind, the origin of all perfect order.
As we change our viewpoint from a material picture of disorder to the spiritual fact of Mind’s orderly creation, our view of ourselves changes. And since experience follows thought, putting the truth about our spiritual nature first enables us to love, express, and thrive in God’s perfect order. Letting go of seeing ourselves as disorganized enables us to view ourselves and others spiritually—as naturally demonstrating order in our expression of God. This is especially important, as order can be practiced and upheld by everyone living under the same roof. It’s a joint demonstration, and striving to live God’s law of order blesses the home and everyone in it.
As I considered these ideas in prayer, it helped my whole household. And not only did my consciousness change, but it also became easier to let go of things I didn’t truly need. I began to make it a habit to give more, donating every few months to those in need instead of holding on to things I never used. I also found that the label of “messy, disorganized person” could not adhere to God’s spiritual image and likeness. Can a perfect God be messy, disorganized, or sloppy? Of course not! And as God’s direct reflection, we each naturally express all that He is—in order, beauty, freedom, discipline, and peace. That’s our natural state.
We might look at someone else and think, “Well, this person’s life is super organized, and no matter what I do I will never compare.” But if you see a quality of God being clearly expressed in another person, that’s a promise that you can see it in yourself, too. If orderliness is true about one of God’s children, it must be true for another, because God’s qualities are infinite, and we all fully reflect them.
We find freedom in allowing God to show us our spiritual love of good. We can love and find joy in all that we do, including household chores. As we do this, it helps to ask in prayer, “What is the most loving thing to do? Is it to leave an item out of its place or to put it away?” In these moments, we discover that putting things in their place is the most loving to those around us. It shows people we care about them. And it’s the most loving to ourselves, as well. An orderly consciousness is the natural outcome of our expression of love and gratitude.
Growing in our understanding of God’s order, we can see our prayers in action. As we are in tune with the fact of our spiritual identity, the expression of order naturally follows. God gives us all we need to carry out and maintain this truth. _______ To get future alerts, subscribe here. Check out the Resources for spiritual study for more info about this study. Have an idea for a topic to cover? Send me a message.