Keeping everything in spiritual order

Is our life dominated by the need for order? Maybe what's really needed is to spiritualize our concept of order.

Order had always seemed important to me—even from the time I was small. I can remember my mother's remarking on my orderliness—on the fact that I would, for example, make a special trip down the stairs to straighten a throw rug. I took pride in my orderliness. School papers were always neat. Drawers were kept organized.

As I grew up I began to notice that this "virtue" had some negative aspects. When working in the kitchen, I spent almost as much time cleaning the counter as I did cooking or baking. With messy projects I felt tense and compelled to finish quickly so that I could put things back in order. Having little children around was difficult because they were messy and scattered toys. Having guests visit was difficult because not only the house but the schedule got disordered. And worst of all, when things were a mess, I couldn't think!

A change of thought—not suicide
August 21, 1989

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