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There is an ancient and theologically significant idea, that one of the most important things for everyone to do during their lives, is to strive to keep their house in order.
But what does it really mean to “keep your house in order,” in a deeper and more meaningful sense, beyond just maintaining the structural integrity of your actual home? It’s probably a good idea to invest in things like a Grundfos pressure pump, stop your basement from flooding, but that’s mostly just a pragmatic material concern.
Well, here are some suggestions on what keeping your house in order really means, in a “bigger picture” sense.
- Holding things together, and maintaining order, even when you don’t feel like it
The Bible features an allegory of a house built on sand, and one built on rock. The house built on sand is washed away and destroyed by the tide, whereas the house built on rock endures. There’s a lot of theological significance to this story, but there are also general-purpose lessons for everyday life.
Keeping your “house in order” is largely a matter of ensuring that your “house” is built on rock rather than on sand. It’s about ensuring that your foundations are sturdy, and that you are holding things together, and maintaining order, even when you don’t feel like it.
The world is a messy and chaotic place, and carelessness, and a superficial value system, are often rewarded by destruction.
To protect yourself, and the things and people you care about from that fate, put in the time and energy to continually reinforce and tend to the relationships you find meaningful, and the structures that matter to you.
- Keeping your aim directed at what’s meaningful
Keeping your house in order implies that you’re keeping your life in line with some overarching structure that you find meaningful.
This could certainly be a religious structure, but at the very least it should be something that matters to you in more than just a casual and rudimentary sense.
In life, what you genuinely aim at is what you move towards, and is also what gives the structure and “order” to your life as a whole.
So, focus on what’s meaningful, and aim towards it, and avoid being distracted or letting your gaze wander too far away.
- Working to make things better around you, bit by bit
“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and “keeping your house in order” isn’t the kind of thing that you just click your fingers and achieve in one afternoon.
Instead, it’s the ongoing work of a lifetime, and that requires you to be committed to daily incremental improvement, where you focus on ways to make things better around you, bit by bit.
Incremental change and improvement is extremely powerful in life, and many of the most amazing achievements are managed only after years of effort, and small and steady improvements, stacked one atop the other.
So, if you’re interested in keeping your home in order, work to make things around you better, bit by bit, and day by day.