The last few days I have been thinking about 'structured living' and how useful it is. The trains run on time because there is a structure to the process that many people adhere to. The train schedule we see is just the surface schedule that is seen by the passengers behind that schedule are maintenance schedules and a hundred other schedules only a select few see. But, the result is that at 10:03am the door opens, we get in, and we sit down to go where we need to be.
We need structure so that we can have order but we also need to have space.
"Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils. He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me." - Psalm 18:15-19 ESV
When the schedules behind our visible schedules are revealed we are overwhelmed. God must structure our lives with grace is order for us to function according to our design. He must bring us to the wide place of freedom. No program is going to get us there.
Perhaps the 'strong enemy' is the program that wants to swallow us up and spit out a little drone that just functions well in the systems of the world... be here... do this... say that... lean right... disagree with them.
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.
Like the partridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch, so is he who gets riches but not by justice; in the midst of his days they will leave him, and at his end he will be a fool.
A glorious throne set on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water.
Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise." - Jeremiah 17:7-14 ESV
The tree that sends out roots by faith looking for the water has a structure but that structure is not imposed on others. The tree looks for water and we send roots out to the sanctuary that we are given. It is right beside us. In times of drought it is right there and full of life that will result in fruit season after season.
But, If we sit on the eggs of our own structures or ones that have been imposed on us those eggs may hatch but they won't be ours. Those birds will fly away and become little Ishmaels (mocking children born of our effort but not of faith).
God's wide place produces fruit like Isaac and those children are of us and they become a heritage.
I want structure. It is useful but the most important structure is the one that directs me to put down roots by faith. It is the redemptive structure that consistently seeks to save with seeds of grace words and Gospel hope.