By Jeanne Takenaka
Almost everything I’ve read recently has challenged me to step out of “safe” and open myself up to the dangers of living abandoned to the God who created me.
This would require me to let go of control. Since I was a girl, I’ve appreciated the peace that being organized affords. When I’m organized, my days flow the way I intend. When I’ve got everything where it belongs and all events scheduled on a calendar, I can focus on mothering, on being a wife, on writing. I can focus on other things.
What if allowing a little disorganization opens me up to a greater dependence on the God who made me? He created me to be an organizer at heart. But have I turned my desire for organization into an idol?
Must everything be in its place before I’ll pursue opportunities God places on my daily path? What if He’s calling me to go—now?
“But Lord, my counters are blanketed with papers. You know that growing pile of papers and receipts beside my bed? I need to deal with it first. I’ll go with You when I’m organized.”
How many opportunities have I lost by striving for organization before daring to move forward?
No, I’m not making a case for living a disorganized life. As I consider this yearning I have for organization, I’m discovering there must be a balance. If I spend all my spare moments, and even some of my “mom-moments”—when a boy asks for a cuddle, or for a few minutes with a listening ear—trying to deal with the piles in my home, how much I’ll miss.
The piles in my life aren’t much different than those on my kitchen counter. They’re always there.
Those things about me that I want to make better. To organize.
The weaknesses I see within myself that I long to turn to a strength. The inner wounds that still surface from time to time.
God wants me to give them all to Him, to trust Him with each aspect of myself. With each pile in my life and my home. It’s only as I entrust these things to Him that they can be transformed.
I don’t have to be chained to the compulsion to organize everything in my life. It’ll never stay that way anyway.
One day that’s too busy to go through the mail begins the next pile. Add to it the Sunday coupons I didn’t have time to clip, a drawing from a boy, a note from a friend . . . the piles grow like weeds. I’ll never conquer them permanently. I’m not that organized.
What if there is a balance between organizing to live unencumbered and living unencumbered with a little organizing thrown in every day?
Wherever that balance lies, I want to find it. A little time spent dealing with piles daily. Much more time spent with Jesus and letting him deal with the piles in my life. And having an open heart to go where He leads in the day. Whether it’s swimming with the kids, on a family hike, or (gulp) on a family missions trip to Africa one day.
How well am I loving God if I cling to the safety of organization rather than step out into the unknown He presents me with? If I don’t trust Him in the places of the unknown, am I really loving Him?
It’s a deliberate choice to trust an untamed God. If I’m going to truly follow Him, I need His eyes to see that balance between my desire for organization and what it affords and living life outside of “safe mode.” If I’m truly going to love Him, I must let go of my craving for control and crave His presence instead.
What about you? How do you live your life outside of “safe mode?” How do you find a balance between being organized for the day and open to the unexpected?