Friday, June 1, 2012

Introducing Designing Life

Design is the way we arrange things to strengthen its structure and appearance.  I love our sunroom because of its southern exposure, the four large windows overlooking our backyard and I’ve positioned my favorite chair to view my children at play and enjoy the flowers.  The land developer and home builder knew after examining the lot, how my house should sit to reap the benefits of the land.  And I, the interior designer, added to their design by choosing the right window treatments, carpet, paint color and furniture.  So whether it’s the inside (structure) or outside (appearance), the elements of design still remain true.  They are line, shape, form, space, value, color and texture.  These elements we can arrange and use as tools to create a beautiful living space, a stunning dress or a masterpiece for our wall. No matter the kind of design, there is desired order.
Designing the Christian life is almost no different.  We can organize our lives in a certain way to strengthen our spiritual wellness.  But there is order.  Jesus told the Pharisees the importance of dealing with the matters of the heart first, and then the outward appearance would mimic the motives of the heart.  But the Pharisees were blind and continued to keep up with appearances when the inside of their hearts were filled with greed and self-indulgence. (Matthew 23: 25-26).
Designing the Christian life is powerful if we follow God’s design.  It takes us developing a deep relationship with Jesus, the Son of God, and understanding and using the elements He created, tools, to live whole and complete.  These tools structure our hearts; what’s on the inside.  The tools are faith, prayer, meditation, study, fasting and worship.  And just like in design, how we arrange the elements, create fundamentals making a beautiful soul.  The fundamentals are what appear when the tools are used effectively.  The fundamentals are confidence, contentment, connection, comprehension, clarity and control.
It sounds simple doesn’t it? Use God’s tools and live well. But you and I both know life is hard.  It is much easier to rely on ourselves, go through the motions and not give a single thought about how we are feeling or to the consequences our choices present.  Similar to the Pharisees the inside of our cup and dish are stuffed with idolatry and selfishness while the outside looks like we have it all together. 
God is good design. He made the heavens and the earth.  He created us. Every day, He desires our attention and inspires us.  He inspires us to know Him, love Him, have a relationship with Him and use the Christian elements to develop a strong, healthy spiritual life we can call our own. 
But today, we are busy, caught up in making a living, raising a family and chasing sleep.  Our relationship with God is only when we need help and the tools God has given us are on our shelf as we continue on the path of self-reliance.
This blog is designed for you and me to take a rest.  Pick up the Christian elements and get inspired.  All it takes is for us to ask ourselves one simple question: Do we have a relationship with God, through Christ, that can inspire us?  With the relationship established, He can inspire us and the toolbox is open with endless righteous ways to design our lives.

 toni