By now you’ve probably heard of David Allen’s book Getting Things Done. In essence, the book promises to help you organize every facet of your life, from your retirement to your sock drawer.
The book has a strange effect on many people, myself included. Reading it sends me into a breathless euphoria, and visions of “Next Actions” and “Projects” skitter through my brain. I make lists as if I’m preparing for Armageddon. Each item checked off the list represents a small victory in the battle of life. Yes, some of those victories are small, such as “Get Haircut”, but they’re victories nonetheless.
What is it about Getting Things Done that sends me, and millions of other people into a list-making frenzy? To be honest, I think it has everything to do with Genesis 1:1-2
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
God is creative and organizational. He formed the universe from nothing and He put it into order. What keeps the planets running the same course year after year? What prevents the sun from accidentally napalming the earth? Why does ice form at thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit? The God of order who sustains all things.
This God of order has stamped his image upon all of us. The impulse for organization that drives us to make lists and put away the dishes is a divine impulse. When we pursue order we reflect the image of God. We please God.
This truth has such practical implications! When you organize your house, you’re reflecting the image of God. When you dump data into a spreadsheet and then organize it in an understandable way, you’re reflecting the image of God. When you create furniture out of raw materials, you’re being an image-bearer.
And so I’ll keep fighting to bring order into the chaos of my life. For the glory of God. Because I bear his image.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some lists to make.
Do you use an organizational system?