Ordering your private world reflections part 1

October 18th, 2008

One of the books I chose to review this year for my studies was Gordon MacDonald’s “Ordering your private world”.

I chose this book as it is a subject that I am interested in personally and I wanted to pick up some tips to help organise my inner private life more effectively. In the next few posts I will share some reflections on the book.

In the preface and first chapters of the book it sets the stage by describing how most people pay attention to their outside worlds while spending little time paying attention to the inner spiritual life.

The outer worlds are things that can bee seen, touched and measured. Things like our homes, cars, boats, careers are part of this outside world. These are the things we strive for and give us a sense of achievement. These are things that keep us busy and can be seen by others.

The inner spiritual life, which often goes unseen and in many people is neglected, is our alone time, where we order our thoughts and make our connection with God. This can not be seen directly and many people fail to give the attention this very important area deserves.

In the preface of the book MacDonald shares about his experience of “Hitting the wall”. He talks about how his outside world began to crumble. On the surface everything was under control. Under the surface things were different. He describes himself as, “A young man with a fairly empty soul, rich in natural gifts but impoverished when it came to inner space, from which there might flow a wellspring of wisdom, spiritual power and Christian depth”.

In chapter one MacDonald likened his experience to those people whose homes collapsed in Florida from sinkholes. On the surface things looked great, until the earth gave way. He says that many people live their lives this way.

MacDonald says the period that followed this time was the start of a new journey. It was the day the sirens sounded and he realised if things did not change he would not be able to continue to do the things he was doing. This started a search for inner orderliness which would govern his outer world.

After setting the scene MacDonald then shares five main ideas or sectors that he has found to give him a sense of order in his inner world. I will share more on these ideas in part 2 in the next few days…