Monday, February 22, 2010

Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald

Where has my time gone?
Why do I feel so unaccomplished when my schedule is full of good and productive activities?
When will I ever get time to rest?

These are all questions I have asked myself more than once in my life and I know I am not alone in entertaining these thoughts. One reason I am so sure I’m not alone is because Ordering Your Private World is a book that addresses the root to these questions: the lack of order within one’s private self.

In his book, MacDonald provides chapter after chapter of practical truth and application for anyone wishing to get their inner lives in order. He uses Biblical wisdom as well as personal experience to explore and explain why people struggle with setting priorities and finding peace in the midst of daily routine.

There are only a couple of principles I was able to fully digest this first time reading it. Not because MacDonald is hard to follow or understand, but because of the depth of the wisdom within the book. One of these principles I picked up early in the book and found some relief and peace in: As a Christian I am called to a particular purpose and pursuit; therefore it is important I live as one who is called and not as one who is busy, distracted or driven by selfish ambition. This challenged me to assess how I spend my time – do my tasks contribute to my calling or my own ambition? What a great way to identify the time-wasters in life!

The other principle relates well to the first and I found it at the end of the book: Keep the Sabbath holy. What this means is not simply go to church on Sundays. This means understanding what the Sabbath is – a day of rest implemented and commanded by God for us all to observe. A day filled with church service (during which I work), eating out, finishing forgotten chores, making lists for the week and meeting up with friends, is frankly, not a day of rest. Rest is found is quietness, reflection, spending time in God’s presence. It is found in taking time to understand why we do what we are called to do; remembering our purpose and responding to God’s leading.

I found myself wishing I had taken notes while reading this book, something I hate to do since it feels so…academic. I was glad to discover there is a study guide in the back of the book which I plan to use my second time through. Once again, quite academic but something I believe is entirely necessary. It is the type of guide one cannot read, understand and implement all at one time. I hope to gather all the wisdom I can from this book so that I not only know what an ordered private world should look like, but so I can experience it as well.


Tracey C. said...

Wow, that sounds like a great book! Thanks for sharing Valerie!

Post a Comment