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If Everything Just Had a Place
By: Dr. Skip Myers
web posted August 13, 2007
COLUMN – One of the things I remember most about growing up was my father’s workshop. To a little boy it was a magical place filled with all sorts of temptations and toys. And while there may have been sawdust on the floor and projects on the workbench, there was organization to all the wonderful stuff that hung on the walls and filled the drawers. There was one rule that kept all this in order—put things back where they go!
This rule wasn’t negotiable or even open for discussion. Believe me I know. Little boys aren’t very good at remembering to put things back where they go. It’s was more of a “drop and run” thing for me. Whatever I borrowed could usually be found where I dropped it when I was finished with it. Needless to say anytime something was missing I was the first person my Dad sought out.
I never understood why I couldn’t get that lesson through my thick head especially given my Dad’s training methods. But as an adult I am constantly seeing the effects of this in the lives of others as well. Our lives are full of wonderful things. Or maybe I should just say our lives are full. Everyone is so busy today. I truly believe we measure our importance and personal success by the number of items on our calendar. And one of the greatest threats to a full life is that we will not put things where they belong.
When things become misplaced in our lives they easily become a distraction away from the things that really matter. It’s not that these things are bad. It’s just that they occupy a place that is reserved for something else. They easily become too much to us while forcing something else to be lessened. The danger comes from allowing something to govern our lives that can’t provide what we truly need. We become distracted from the vital and concentrate on the mundane.
Jesus told a wonderful story about this very thing in Luke 14:15-24. Take time to read the entire passage. This is a story about people who got some good things in their lives but put them in the wrong place. In this story the Lord issues an invitation for people to come into a wonderfully intimate relationship with Him. Jesus illustrates this by using the example of a man issuing invitations to a dinner party.
One by one the people give their excuses as to why they cannot attend. Now the things they use as excuses aren’t bad in and of themselves. The problem is that they have allowed these things to become misplaced in their lives. One man says he has bought a piece of land and needs to go look at it. Another says they have bought a pair of oxen and they want to try them out. The third states he has gotten married and cannot attend.
Any of these sound familiar? Our homes, our possessions and toys, leisure pursuits, and our family activities are all wonderfully worthwhile endeavors. But if we allow them to be out of place they have the potential of distracting us from the Lord’s invitation. Remember, the Lord in these things is better than our forcing the Lord the take a backseat to them. He can only make things better. So many of the difficulties we face are a result of having things out of place. Everything has an intended place in our lives. What we put in the driver’s seat determines how much joy we will experience. Homes are sold, toys and possessions rust, and families grow up and move out. There is no certainty to any of these. As good as they may be they do not have the strength to be the foundation of our lives. Put them in their place under the direction of a God who infinitely loves you and they will take on new joy and meaning.
Take a moment and do a quick inventory of your life. Is everything in its proper place? If not, take a look at what you have directing the whole thing. Maybe it’s time for a change by putting the Lord in His proper place and letting Him do the organizing. He can only make things better. Find your place in His place this Sunday. I’ll see you there.
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