catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 11, Num 6 :: 2012.03.16 — 2012.03.29


(Dis)organization's origins

As I run into my dorm, I’m yelling at myself, “Where are my keys?”   I’m one of those people who needs to keep his keys on a humongous keychain, just so he doesn’t forget or leave them in an inconvenient place, like a couch cushion.  The state of my room doesn’t help the situation.  I have old water bottles, tech cords, a number of books on various topics, as well as assorted pieces of laundry.  I’m not organized, especially in relation to my thoughts.  I’m a person who continues to flip between three or four thought processes at a time, often without cause for change.  

I often wish I could improve my organizational skills, and I’m not alone in my distraction.  I’ve noticed the patterns of disorganization all over the world.  Most of us are easily distracted by simple things like texts, YouTube links and many other entertaining endeavors that seem more interesting than the ones in front of us in a given moment.

But why is this?  Why are we so distracted?  Are we naturally organized, or are we beings who are sporadic and random?  This question does seem like a silly one, but I believe that this question can open up doors for understanding how we need to organize ourselves in the future. 

The first question is: Was God organized?  For me, this is an easy question.  God proves that his system of reality was originally organized and simple.  We can see it all around us.  We see organized patterns of stars that form symbols and the planetary system helps us to understand the logical and rational building of the universe.  This is especially true if God is rational.  Rationality is often connected to the simple idea of organization.  Most human thought requires some form of organization, so that attribute of organization must have come from God.

I would take it a step further, and say that God is organization.  Greek philosopher Aristotle presented a simple argument to support this.  All of reality has things that are Good.  However, they are not perfect.   Aristotle uses the example of a triangle to illustrate this.  We all know that a triangle has three sides, and can imagine that there is an absolute triangle out there.  However, that absolute triangle does not exist in reality.  While there are near-perfect triangles everywhere, there are none that match the perfect one.  If you were to examine any triangle closely, you’d find small pricks and blemishes.  However, we can imagine that there is a perfect triangle, meaning that that there is an ultimate source of the shape.  

In the same way, I believe God is the perfect form of organization.  It follows then that since human beings were made in God’s image, we would also be naturally organized.  Adam might even seem a little obsessed with organization compared to our standards.  That inclination to organize likely came naturally to him, just part of his nature. 

Disorder came about through the Fall. Because of human rebellion, the whole creation is corrupted, and thus cannot be perfect in any way.  It may seem like perfection is attainable, but our organization only vaguely resembles the original pattern of organization that God established. We are completely unable to touch perfect organization. 

For me, this knowledge is just as comforting as the knowledge of Christ’s redemption.  I’m one of the most random and jumpy individuals you’ll ever meet, so knowing the origins of my inability to be organized is quite relieving.  I know that God can certainly transform what I do to be effective and glorifying to him.  

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