Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Order





I’ve been on a cleaning spree for the last few days.  I’ve cleaned the trunk and glove compartment in my car.  I catch myself going to my car now, just to admire my trunk.  I feel lighter and freer when I open it.  I can’t imagine living any other way now.  Perhaps I will backslide.  I have before.  Or perhaps I won’t this time.  Maybe I’m finally ready to move forward in this part of my life.
My garage has also been undergoing an overhaul.  I just went in there now for some reason I can’t remember and threw out a few more things.  I feel like I’m unburdening my soul with each piece of paper, book, item of clothing, or odd item that I give or throw away.  I’m also selling things on eBay, divesting myself of more and more.  I want to live a simpler and cleaner life.  The rule is that if it hasn’t been touched in a year, it can be thrown out.  That’s a good rule.  I’ve found things I haven’t touched in ten or twenty years, and still I carry them with me everywhere I go.  This does not make for a calm or orderly life.  Calm and order are what I need.  I’ve known this for a long time.  In fact, God once told me this.
Ten years ago I was at a crossroads.  I was miserable, mostly because of my job.  So I checked into a motel near the beach.  It wasn’t in a great part of town, but it was cheap, it was quiet, and I was alone for two and a half days.  I looked at my life and I began journaling.  I knew I was in the wrong job and that I was negatively impacting other people.  It wasn’t intentional, but it was happening, nonetheless.  I spent a mostly sleepless night trying to figure out how to fix my life.
The next morning I went to a coffee shop feeling lost.  I only had a day and a half left of my pilgrimage and I needed some answers.  I couldn’t continue the way I was going.  I had a journal and a book with me, as I usually do.  The book was Waking the Dead by John Eldredge.   I opened it and read this:
I suggested that the issue of the day was simply this: God, who am I?  What do you think of me?  What’s my real name?

“What’s my real name?”
“What’s my real name?”
“What’s my real name?”
I was struck by that question.
I got out my journal and for some reason I wrote the word “Order.”  It means calm, organization, direction, purpose.  I realized that my life had none of those things.  I also realized that I aspired to all of them.   Interestingly, my closest friends were people were very organized, very calm, or very clear on their life direction.  I was none of those things, but I was looking for them and I had been for my whole life. 
My name was Order.
Now if this were a book or a movie, it would almost be the end of the story.  The next chapter or scene would show me quitting my job for a better one (with music in the background if it were a movie), becoming immediately and completely organized, and getting every part of my life in order.   Life seems to work at a different pace.  I did quit my job for a better one, and in that way I started bringing order to my professional life.  But there were other battles ahead.  It would be several more years before I met my Muse and get order over other areas.  But the process started and I would never look back.
My trunk has been clean for three days in a row now.  In the last few days I’ve gotten rid of hundreds of things.  I feel calmer.  Order is coming into my life…slowly.  In the Wolverine mini-series, Chris Claremont writes,
And yet the patterns of life are as fluid as those of this gravel.  I smooth the stones…new patterns emerge…chaos becomes order.  The wheel turns.  And from that order…peace?

So I seek order because that’s the name God gave me.  I’m seeking myself.  And I’m seeking the direction He has given me.  My Muse lights the way and my trunk is cleaner.