Autumn Leaves 3 Column

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Order of Things

As many of my beloved readers may be aware, I am a routine individual (refer to the previous blog, “Bovine Creatures”). Last week was proof yet again of how discombobulated I become when my routine is interrupted! In my normal week I have daily devotions every morning and I also work-out three times a week. Mondays are usually my day to do a regular housecleaning: laundry, scrub floors, vacuum, clean bathrooms, pick-up, and generally set my agenda for the week. I see clients on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and between clients I write, do personal bills and our business invoicing and bookkeeping, along with ministry research. Fridays I leave open for a variety of things: writing, gardening, or perhaps major household projects. Basically, every day has its routine.

Last week however the routine was interrupted. I had a funereal to attend on Monday which encompassed most of the day. Therefore, Monday’s work got pushed to Tuesday leaving Wednesday and Thursday to become overwhelmingly busy so that I would be free to assist my husband on Friday with his business. Needless to say, all week long, I had to consult a calendar to remember what day of the week it was and avoid missing client appointments. I like my routine, the order of events; order allows me to accomplish my work and maintain sanity and the comfort of our household. I become confused, tired and grumpy when my routine is altered.

Oddly enough, during my devotion reading last week, I realized that Jesus had a routine, an order, to His life. As I was reading John 13:1-5, I was immediately arrested by the order of events as He prepared to wash the feet of His disciples. The passage reads like this:

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
2The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:1-5

Beginning in verse 1, John shares with us that Jesus knew that His time to leave the world and return to the Father from whom He had come was rapidly approaching. Jesus is longing to show His disciples the full extent of His love. Then, in verse 3, we read that Jesus knew that all power was His, that He had authority over everything, and that He had come from the Father and was returning to the Father. Did you catch it? That was the order: knowing how deeply beloved Jesus is by His Father and His authority was from God. Then Jesus would display His unfathomable love for His disciples. The only begotten Son of God, the Prince of Peace would don a simple towel, and take on the role of a servant to wash the filthy feet of His disciples.

I’m not saying that Jesus could not have become a servant to His disciples without first recognizing God’s love for Him. He’s perfect; of course He knew God’s love for Him! My point is that under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John spells out an order of events for broken, weak, and faulty people: us. If we truly want to become the loving servant demonstrated by Jesus, we have to first stop and acknowledge to the depths of our soul how deeply loved we are by our Father; that we belong to Him as His children and He to us as our loving Father. God and God alone is the source of our power – power to love our neighbor and become their servant. Only as we acknowledge His love and care for us can we then, by the power of the Holy Spirit, become the loving servants God created us to be, in that order! Otherwise, we will become confused, grumpy, and exhausted!

If confused, grumpy, or exhausted is your state of mind, take a look inward. Are you focused on God’s love for you, even reveling in it? Or are you focusing on crossing your duties off of a never-ending list of chores, feeling resentful? Find the correct routine! Get things in order! I can’t speak for you, but I know that I have much to do to further His kingdom today and I do a better job when I do things in the correct order!