Character Quality: Orderly
Character Quality: Orderly
The worship of randomness is popular and encouraged. Bumper stickers advocate us to ‘practice random acts of kindness’. In fact in the movie ‘Evan Almighty’ the word ‘ark’ is given as an acrostic for “Acts of Random Kindness.” Really? God choose a man, gave him specifications to build a huge barge-like structure out of specific materials, a project which took Noah 120 years to complete for a specific purpose and the best acrostic Hollywood can manage includes the word ‘random.’ Seriously?
Clearly there was nothing random about God’s charge to Noah. And not just Noah. The same was true for Adam, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and so on. So if this world has order, if there is a purpose for each of us, if there is a God who is sovereign over all things, then that would have serious implications — implications like responsibility to that authority, submission to that authority, worship to that authority.
Order matters. It matters what order you put the ingredients in the cake mix. It matters what order you put clothes on when you get dressed. It matters what order you do the operations in math. It matters what order words are in a sentence. It matters what order you paint with watercolor, going from light to dark. It matters what order you do the steps when changing the oil in a vehicle.
Orderliness does not only pertain to the sequence of steps, it also applies to behavior. The way we conduct ourselves can be appropriate or in appropriate, in order or out of order. Yelling, “Fire!” at the movie theater is, for example, out of order. Giggling during a sermon is not proper, it’s out of order. Similarly, there are places where it is not fitting to run and be loud, even if you are happy. It is just not the place to behave like that.
Orderliness has to do with how we behave based where we are. In the Old Testament book Ecclesiastes, we learn that there is a time and place for everything. There is a time to laugh, to cry, to sing, to be quiet, to yell, to whisper. There is a time to run, to skip, to sit, to wiggle, to dance, to walk, to sleep. Time to eat, to drink, to fast, to give, to keep, to throw away. Sleeping, writing, drawing, texting, hoping, and more — they all have a place and a time.
“In the beginning God….”
Creation is a prime example of orderliness. God created the world. The evidence is clear. That is not the debate in this post. In creating the world, there was an order to everything. The spaces had to be created before the creatures. The sources for life, food, light, warmth, and water had to be in place before living creatures were made. Skies before sun, moon, and stars — seas before fish — land and plants before animals and man — God made it all in a specific order.
The example God gives us for orderliness in creation is just the beginning. He established an order for those of us he draws to Himself. There is an order to our coming into relationship with Him. It starts with justification, followed with sanctification, and ultimately glorification.
Practicing and teaching orderliness is important because it teaches a fundamental characteristic of God. He is a God of order. He ordered creation. He is the Author of creation. And as such He is worthy of our worship. We are not God. He is. Random is not worthy of our worship. God is.