Christian women often try to organize the messiness of life by creating "happy little compartments that we suppose will bring peace," said Trisha Wilkerson, a Christian blogger and mother.
As the wife of a pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash., and as a writer for Mark Driscoll's The Resurgence blog on subjects like work and worship, Wilkerson is no stranger to juggling the busyness of everyday life.
But she notes in her post, titled "Ladies, Don't Compartmentalize God," that women often try to control the chaos of life the wrong way. They create checklists and compartments in their hearts, "gladly tucking devotional and Bible thoughts into that 'Jesus' category."
This leaves them feeling inadequate if they haven't completed something and they think they are condemned by what is lacking. "Jesus seems distant, unavailable, and cold. We briefly acknowledge him and get back to work, sure that God will understand our mess," writes Wilkerson.
She emphasized that this kind compartmentalization can be dangerous and draining. "Our lives aren't neatly arranged. We try for 'neat' and it never happens," she said. "Our hearts are full of wandering desires distracting us from Christ, making those good works and loving acts of service sometimes non-existent, or just simply scattered across the disorder of our lives."
This urge and ability to compartmentalize only takes women so far because life is broken and complex, Wilkerson says. And it creates the assumption that they are in control, causing them to "limp through life…searching for 'balance' amid the chaos."
Wilkerson advises that instead of compartmentalizing and obsessing with organizing, women have to learn to trust God with the details. The real question should be, "If Jesus is our treasure, do our lives continually reflect this rich grace?"
This involves handing the reins of life over to God. "We can tenderly acknowledge the propensity to compartmentalize (which isn't always sinful) and pray for discernment, that we may see our distracted worship, and desperate need for Christ," she writes.
It is a matter of changing our perspective of life into a view of worship. Wilkerson cites theologian D.A. Carson who said, "Christian worship is the response of God's redeemed people to his self-revelation that exalts God's glory in Christ in our minds, affections, and wills, in the power of the Holy Spirit."
She says in light of this, women can change the perspective of their checklist or agenda and let Christ work on the details of their lives.
"To worship Jesus throughout our stressful, busy days without putting him in some compartment means that we truly see him as Lord over all of it, deeply loving us in the details. Yes, even the mundane tasks of life," she writes.
Wilkerson asks women to stop the next time they are doing dishes, cleaning, or in a meeting and think about God, and how He is in control.
Ultimately if we "can relinquish control, knowing that our holy, perfect, and attentive God is Lord over all these self-made compartments and gives us his Spirit to demonstrate his wisdom and grace daily. We are invited to live this out, as worship," she says.