Ordering Your Private World (Again!)

“Most of us have been taught to manage our public worlds well… Our public worlds are filled with a seeming infinity of demands on our time, our loyalties, our money, and our energies. And because these public worlds of ours are so visible, so real, we have to struggle to ignore all their seductions and demands. They scream for our attention and action.

But there is this private world in every one of us, a world that may be as infinite in size as we perceive our public worlds to be. But often the private world – like the depths of the ocean – remains unexplored, full of surprises, ambushes, emotions, and dreams.”

20-some years ago, as a freshman in Bible College, one of the books assigned for class was Ordering Your Private World from Gordon MacDonald. It seems that those in charge of training up young men and women for lives in very public service/ministry thought we needed to pay close attention to the very private workings of our inner lives before we got too drawn in to the buzz of activity they knew would be coming.

Over two decades within that buzz have lulled me into some patterns that have left little time for paying attention to the order within, so I’m revisiting the book and came across the quote above. With all the pressure of keeping up the social media appearances that we heap on ourselves today (not to mention the maintenance in the rest of our public lives) our culture leaves very little time for the private world. That needs to change for me, and I’m guessing there’s a good chance, for you, too.

I’ll be digging through the book over the next few weeks and sharing what I find, but I’d encourage you to dig a little deeper on your own, too. How’s your private world? If your inner life is a little ‘out of order’, how is it going to get better? Maybe this can be a start… Get a copy and start digging.

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