How many times have you tried to organize your home or your life?
I’ve lost count, myself.
Most of us get the urge, the nagging feeling that we should be doing this better, we should be organized, we should be on top of our circumstances.
Where does this feeling come from?
Why do we keep trying to get organized? Why do we feel like we’ve never arrived?
There have been times where I have decided that feeling that I should be organized or put together or on top of life was simply a false expectation, one I should reject and move passed. Who says I need to be any better? Who says getting organized is the answer to all my problems?
The truth is that being organized is not the answer to all our problems.
If we’re honest with ourselves, too often we keep trying to get organized because we feel that if only we could do that, then the unexpected would never happen, then we’d never be unhappy, then we’d achieve perfection. But organization cannot do that for us. It is a false hope for salvation or perfection.
Yet that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable or worth pursuing.
We should still work toward better organization for three primary reasons:
1. We want to honor our commitments and responsibilities.
Being organized centers not on labeled shelves and matching containers, but on knowing our commitments and being prepared to follow through on them. Trying to get organized should be focused on faithfully fulfilling our commitments.
2. We want to be good stewards of our time, stuff, and energy.
Being organized is taking care of and making good use of our resources. We are given many gifts – abilities, energy, homes, family, community, opportunities – and we are called to make the best use of our time. Organization is managing our resources to increase the good works we are available and able to accomplish.
3. We want to be available to serve more and better.
Because we are managing our resources and abilities and preparing ourselves for following through on our commitments, we are more open and available to serve our families and others as the needs arise. When we know what’s on our plate already and we know our calendar and our commitments, we can adjust and adapt on the fly as real life is thrown our way.
None of these are self-centered reasons. If we approach our attempts at organization from the mindset of wanting to serve others better rather than trying to make ourselves more perfect, we will fall into discouragement and frustration less.