“Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
I’ve spent quite a bit of time waiting in doctor’s offices lately. And a thought occurred to me. As much money as I send to all the doctors and clinics, they ought to be able to buy a better stack of magazines. Newer ones, at least.
But, anyway, a few weeks ago I was waiting (and waiting) to see a physician, and I picked up a Prevention Magazine that was several years old. A lot of the medical information was outdated, but as I thumbed through it I ran across a quote from an interview—a quote I thought was outstanding: “A well-ordered day is the best anti-depressant.” Then, in an ancient Guideposts I read, “Order is the first rule of Heaven.”
I never would have thought to express it in those ways, but personal experience has shown me the value of a well-ordered day. Our best days are not the days of unscheduled idleness and leisure, but the days when we go to bed each night knowing that we have done everything. Coasting aimlessly through a day is depressing, but a well-ordered day is the cure!
When my son Seth was in grade school, Susan and Spencer went on a mission trip to Arizona. That left Seth and me together at home for a week, and we made plans to do some father-son things together. We rented a tiny rustic cabin at a nearby Mississippi State Park and went “camping”. There wasn’t all that much to do, but we made a plan for each day. At 7:30 a.m., we would gather wood for a fire, and at 8 a.m. we would cook breakfast. At 9 a.m. we would ride bikes, and at 9:30 we would put together a jig-saw puzzle of Scooby-Doo. In like manner, we planned the entire day.
When the family was back together, Spencer asked Seth how he had liked camping. I will never forget his answer: “It was great. We made a schedule.”
Even though it was many years ago, I’ve never forgotten that trip, and Seth hasn’t either. Just last week we were discussing how on our trip we cut a watermelon each day…because it was three o’clock.
Lately I’ve been trying to make a schedule each day at the office. It’s never a perfect schedule, and sometimes it’s not very detailed. Most of the time I scribble it on a piece of scratch paper, and at the end of the day I throw it in the trash. I’ve never stuck to my schedule perfectly, and I never finish all the things I’m supposed to do. But my schedule gives me peace because it saves me from anxiety, hurry, and indecision.
In today’s lesson from the Epistle (at the top of the page), the Apostle Paul sets up a rule for the churches—things must be done decently in order. We are called to do things on Earth as they are done in Heaven, and after all, “Order is the first rule of Heaven.” Dear mama, if you’re a little down in the dumps, try the remedy that has no side-effects—two teaspoons of a well-ordered day. Take a lesson from our Lord, whose world is beautiful because it is orderly. Order your world, and schedule some time to do good things for the Lord, yourself, and others. You’ll be glad you did, and your babies will thank you, too!
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” *Sing that title to the tune of “Secret Agent Man” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his third decade of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 17) and Seth (age 14) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church” (where we are not as orderly as we would like to be, but we’re improving as the days go by ). You should write him at email@example.com.