Rearrange the Day!

This morning, I scrape egg off of a blue and white plate.

I overhear a pastor, Tim Keller, speaking about work in a sermon video. I wipe my hands on the dish towel and strain to hear.

Keller says, “Work is rearranging the raw material of a particular domain for the flourishing of everyone.”

I think about what “raw materials” make up this day.

So far, my raw materials are dirty dishes.  Later, I rearrange letters to make words and then rearrange words to make sentences.  Now, I position red peppers in a pan to roast for dinner.  At 6:30, I’ll open the front door and welcome the children for neighborhood fitness group.   

I also have the raw emotions of fear about my sick friend and sadness for the Japanese.  I take the feelings and do the work of prayer.  

Suddenly, I look at my work in new ways.  Cleaning the kitchen, teaching grammar, making dinner, praying, and then hosting the neighborhood fitness group tonight all represent ways I rearrange raw material into new positions for flourishing.

And if what I’m doing doesn’t contribute to our flourishing, then it’s not the kind of work I want.  I think of Proverbs 14:  “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”  I want to be the kind of person who rearranges whatever she’s been given today to allow everyone (including myself) to flourish.

Living with flair is a kind of rearranging:  We rearrange our circumstances, turn them towards the light, and find the good, the beautiful, and the hopeful.  

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Journal:  How does my work advance our flourishing?    




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So I Will

Today, I had the privilege of writing a guest blog post for The Seed Company, an organization founded by Wycliffe Bible Translators to accelerate Bible translation all over the world.  The Seed Company blog asked me the question, “How does reading the Bible help you live with flair?”   Here’s my answer below, and check out The Seed Company to learn more about this great mission.

When I read God’s word, I learn how to see the world differently.
Suddenly, what’s boring becomes beautiful; what’s mundane becomes marvelous.  When I read the world through the lens of my Bible, I’m filled with wonder.  I’m on a treasure hunt to find the mysteries of God in acorns, injured cats, pancakes, or snowflakes. 
For the past 10 months, I’ve been blogging at “Live with Flair.”  It began with a challenge to find beauty, wonder, and spiritual truth every day.  Even in the most common thing, I could find God’s truth and reflect upon it. 
God’s word says I can, so I will. 
I have to take seriously the argument in Psalm 19 that the heavens “declare the glory of God,” and that the skies “proclaim the work of his hands.”  The psalmist claims that creation “pours forth speech” and can “reveal knowledge.” 
What speech?  What knowledge? 
Just this morning, I read a quote from E. Stanley Jones that “all things have the stamp of Christ upon them,” and that His will is “wrought into their very structure.”  As I turn to consider the book of Romans, I learn that “since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made. . .” 
Might I consider this pencil and think about the divine nature of the Creator?  Might I make a cheese sandwich and understand the invisible qualities of an Almighty God? 
Colossians tells me that “Christ is before all things and in Him all things hold together.”  All things: pencils, cheese sandwiches, injured cats, snowflakes.  I challenge myself to let God’s word interpret my environment.  I’m on a mission to see into the structure of common objects and find the glory of God. 
This process comes about through mystery.  I find an object and ask a question about it.  Why is it this way?  How did it become this way?  Soon, I’m in the presence of mystery, one step away from worship.  As I uncover the wonder, I then turn and praise the Living God—Jesus—who created all things, even cheese sandwiches. 
And that’s how I live with flair. 
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