Godliness and other reasons to stay neat and tidy

After 30 years of prodding by first my mother, then college roomates, and more recently my wife, I have finally discovered a reason to convert from a slob to a neat-freak. I have never been someone who could keep from piling up stacks of clothes, books, magazines and other random crap around my office, bedroom, or let’s be honest, anywhere that I spend more than an hour a day. I seemed to have a fairly high tolerance for disorder and messiness, even though it drove me crazy to have
things messy and out of order. Once in a while, if my tolerance was running low, and I had some free time, I would clean everything. I couldn’t just clean a little, I had to do every single thing.

After being married for 4 years, I had pretty much made up my mind that Lori was just a neater person than I was, and again, my tolerance for dirty dishes, and piled up laundry was higher than hers. My main reason for cleaning was simply to keep her happy, because often I felt like I was doing it when it was unnecessary.

But I’m beginning to realize that all the stress and anxiety I feel as a result of my massively over-committed and unbalanced life, is due in part to the disorder and
chaos around me wherever I go. I may have developed the ability to ignore those things on a conscious level, but my sub-conscious is fully aware and disturbed by it all.

On a spiritual level, it also reflects a life that is still very much flesh-driven, instead of Spirit led. There are many aspects to God’s character, but disorder and chaos
are not among them. Therefore, if the Holy Spirit leads me in all truth, and causes me to inherit the character of God, what does it say about my willingness to be Spirit-led, if disorder and chaos are present in every space I occupy?

The great thing about God is that he’s not offended by our natural limitations when we try to spend time with him. If I can’t concentrate on praying or just meditating because I’m distracted by dirty dishes in the sink, he’s not offended if I have to go do those dishes in order to be able to focus. And if my mind is swimming with thoughts of all my responsibilities, he’s not offended if it takes all my prayer time to write them down, if it clears my mind. That’s one thing about being omni-present in 4 dimensions, there’s very little difference between today and tomorrow.

I think we can over-spiritualize our fleshly ability to block out our surroundings. "Don’t worry about _____, just focus on Jesus, really focus, just try harder." But I’m beginning to realize that if we’re really Spirit-led, some of those things won’t be there to distract us in the first place.


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