top of page
Search

The Virtue of Orderliness


2/25/2024

1 Corinthians 14:33 & 40 

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

 

When we hear the phrase, “law and order”, we think of different things. Some of us think of the television series from the 90’s. Others of us think of more strict enforcement penalties for reducing crime.  Still others think of situations where laws are obeyed, and people behave in an orderly and peaceful fashion.

 

I want to talk about the virtue of orderliness this week. I have referenced order numerous times in my talks on other virtues. Last week I made the comment that every step toward order results in a step toward tranquility. That is true, a move toward order shapes our lives, minds, environment, and attitudes.

 

Orderliness can be applied to our inner lives as well as our outer lives, our physical natures and spiritual natures. We are most familiar with order as it applies to cleaning up our physical surroundings: our garages, closets, drawers, yards, and schedules, and at the same time there is a mirror-image transformation within our mental environment.   

 

Regardless of where we apply order the results are numerous. First, there is clarity and efficiency. A well-ordered environment allows us to see the things around us more clearly, and our thoughts become more ordered. An organized schedule ensures efficiency.  Orderliness also reduces stress and anxiety. Chaos breeds tension. A clutter-free physical environment results in a clutter-free mind. Knowing where things belong and having systems in place for locating objects brings peace. I was raised with the adage, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” Mom was orderly.

 

An orderly home promotes physical health and safety. Clean spaces prevent dust, mites, fungus, allergens, and clutter-related accidents. Similarly, mental health thrives in an orderly mind. An organized mind reduces mental fatigue. A structured work area fosters creativity. When the right tool is available, inspiration flows more freely.  A disorderly space stifles the imagination.

 

Like all virtues, orderliness requires discipline. Order comes from a daily focus and intentional choices. This self-control extends beyond our physical spaces to our habits, emotions, and thoughts.

 

There is order in the natural rhythms and cycles of nature. Seasons and routines create harmony, and our minds are eased by knowing what comes next. Balance emerges when priorities and activities are in order – work, rest, relationships, and self-care.

 

There is a similar connection spiritually with order. A well-ordered mind and environment results in a peaceful and organized heart.  A peaceful heart is responsive to Spirit’s guidance. Prayer and meditation thrive in structured spaces and help maintain our connection to deeper truths.   

 

God’s Divine Order is like God Himself: everywhere, always present.  We sometimes forget that.  We forget that the Universe is in a constant state of evolution, that Creation is a continuous, on-going process. As we participate in this process as a co-creator, we may occasionally encounter periods of time that seem like chaos.  These challenges may appear as health difficulties, financial struggles, relationship problems, or something as simple as a cluttered closet or room.

 

When we perceive what we think is disorder, it is easy to be caught up in appearances.  Rather, we need to refocus our attention on God, and bring His awareness to the challenge.  By affirming divine order, we take our minds off illness or limitation, so that thoughts of healing and substance will flow into us.

 

The truth is, we don’t always recognize whether something is out of order or not. We can see if something is not what we expect, but sometimes we misinterpret a change as bad, incorrect, wrong, or not of God. Although God’s plans are for our highest good, they sometimes take a while to develop. Challenges could be God doing his works through the person or situation and are still in the process of being orderly; we just don’t always recognize it.  

 

For instance, some of us look upon physical disabilities as sad and unfortunate and cannot see the Divine Order in that situation.  It is true, some disabled people see themselves as victims and lead a life of dejection and helplessness. But others play the hand they have been dealt and overcome.

 

Tenor Andrea Boccelli became totally blind at the age of 12. Instead of falling into fear and gloom, he devoted himself to music. He is a world-class tenor who brings classical music to the top of the international pop charts. Was it unfortunate that he became blind during a football injury? Perhaps, but had he not been injured he might have grown up to be a common teenager, have a common job, and make a common impact on society. But God tipped his life a bit. Boccelli could have chosen victimhood, but instead he embraced the courage to face his challenges. The rest is history.

 

This is Divine Order. We don’t always see it when we are in the middle of it. It seems like chaos, but it is happening as it should happen. We always have the choice not to acquiesce to God’s plans. But if we are open to the flow of Spirit within us, and to God’s working through us, then we can fulfill God’s good and perfect plans for us.

 

This is where virtues work together for our highest good. When we focus on order and have faith, spectacular things can happen. When we can accept a misfortune or challenge without judgment and apply the courage, wisdom, and faith in God’s plans to move forward, then we will be blessed beyond our limited vision.

 

Near the start of our marriage, I was nudged by Spirit to go to Southern California to advance my education. This decision would force Mary to leave a fulfilling good paying teaching job.  She didn’t want to move to a big city with all the problems they offer.  I knew I was going, and I left it to Mary to decide if she wanted to accompany me or stay. We would be apart for two years except for summers.  Thankfully, Mary decided that she would come with me.

 

As Divine Order would have it, we found a place to live that was one block away from her sister.  During the three years we were in West Hollywood, her relationship with her sister was renewed.  She also found a teaching job at an excellent school where the traffic was always moving in the opposite direction of the heaviest flow.  Her confidence grew in city driving and her skills as a teacher improved because of her professional environment.  We had Daniel at a birthing center, which was always Mary’s desire, and the medical attention Daniel needed was attended to by Cedar Sinai, one of the best pediatric hospitals in the world.  I had many opportunities to sing professionally but could not find a teaching job after graduating.  Then an elementary school job opened again in Carson City for Mary, and we moved back.  I never again taught music but found a new career path where I still had opportunities to serve God and share my love for teaching and music.

 

Although I received the initial tap on the shoulder from Spirit, who gained the most from this three-year journey?  Mary and I have talked about it and we both gained a tremendous amount.  Perhaps she, even more than I. This is Divine Order; it is always present and working to the highest good of all. 

 

One of my favorite scenes in any movie is from Chariots of Fire. It is the scene where the devout Olympic runner representing England was narrating. “From where comes the power to finish the race.  It comes from within.  I know God put me here for a purpose, but He also made me fast.  And when I run, I feel his pleasure.”  And on that last phrase, it shows him putting his head back and we see the joyous bliss of God moving through him.  The camera pans to the stadium, where a couple of his friends are watching.  One young man watches with a grin and tears in his eyes as he witnesses his friend’s rapture during the race. 

 

It is a powerful moment, illustrating the effect of Divine Order in action.  When we find what we love to do, what God loves to do through us, it affects not only us, but everyone that sees the process unfold. When God expresses through someone, we are moved, sometimes to tears, sometimes to action. No matter the activity, when we let God live through us, it is a joyous event.

 

There are unlimited pathways for Order to evolve, and an orderly Universe does not mean sameness or monotony. God loves order and diversity. Within us is God’s pattern for Order, yet everyone is different. Within every tulip is the blueprint for Order, yet no two are identical. 

 

God’s plans for us are good, perfect, and right; filled with hope and prosperity. God has even given us a basic handbook for law and order that we call the Ten Commandments. These laws and those written on our hearts are intended to help us perform better as a human being while we are on earth. But some of us have a hard time with those behaviors. Man’s law doesn’t always help our thinking. Voltaire said it with a bite: “It is forbidden to kill; therefore, all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”

 

What does God do when we break one of those commandments? God looks upon us with compassion and forgives us. God knows our hatred, greed, dishonesty, prejudices, and judgments, all our dark corners, and through infinite Love forgives us.

 

God’s forgiveness originates from an even deeper sense of Order. The law and order of Man is enforced and maintained by Man. The Law and Order of God is Self-enforced, and the punishment is Self-inflicted. Ultimately, God teaches us that the Law is not as important as the Source of that Law -- and that is God Himself.  Divine Order then, asks us to seek God first in everything. Divine Order invites us to turn within to Christ first for our guidance, strength, wisdom, and peace, before we turn to the mind of Man.

 

When we clean out the drawers of our minds and hearts, finding a valued place for everything or releasing what is no longer needed, we move rapidly toward joy, and peace, our natural state.

 

My prayer is that we allow Christ to direct our Spring-Cleaning efforts. I pray that we make time to move into prayer, take our concerns and questions with us, and then listen as we let the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Love and Forgiveness, direct us and cleanse our minds, hearts, and bodies, and fill our being with divine Law and Order.

1 comentário

Avaliado com 0 de 5 estrelas.
Ainda sem avaliações

Adicione uma avaliação
Dan Mansergh
Dan Mansergh
27 de fev.
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

Excellent art work!

Curtir
bottom of page