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Thursday, August 18, 2016

The great design

Charles Eames said, "Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design." He was an American designer made famous during the 50's and 60's. He worked with is wife in a design business, whose mission was to create the first types of furniture which could be "mass produced" in warehouses and sold to the millions. He is also known for saying, "Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose." Sometimes we see all the elements (pieces) in life, but we really cannot break past the mess of the pieces to see the design which those pieces can produce. We might recognize the need for a particular thing to occur, but we just don't know how all the pieces of life we are juggling at the moment all come together to create anything even remotely like what our "condition" demands.

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. (Romans 8:28 VOICE)


If we look at what Eames said - that the arrangement of the elements can be done in such a way so as to accomplish not just ANY purpose, but a specific purpose - we might just begin to wonder what the "specific" purpose is for these PARTICULAR pieces we are given right now.  God isn't unaware of what those elements are designed to form - the unique way they are to fit together in our lives to create something beautiful, functional, and purposeful within, for, and through us.  Those elements have a purpose within us - maybe to change a fear into a trust, a hope into a motivation, or a desire into a fulfillment.  They also have a purpose for us and that may just be to allow those elements to begin to work in us so that what comes "through" us will be a blessing to others.

I have moved a few times in my life, dreading the endless task of packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking.  Why is it such a drudgery to "start anew" in a new location, a new home, or a new job?  I honestly believe it is the chaos of seeing all the pieces, but not knowing how they will all fit together yet.  As I moved into a new home, for example, all the boxes get stacked in the rooms I "believe" they belong in.  My first move, I simply marked them "Kitchen", "Bedroom", or "Bathroom".  After trying to find a coffee mug for almost an hour going through boxes labeled for the kitchen, the next move included just a little more detail on those boxes!  The furniture gets put in the general space of the room it is intended to go in, but until it all put together in then "placed" into position, it has not really served the purpose for which we placed it there.

We have pieces, but we don't have order to them yet - we have a vision, but we don't know what that design will fully produce.  Good news is - God knows both the design and how to make the pieces fit as they were designed!  Don't we wish that life was as easy as rearranging the furniture to get it to "fit" a room?  Life is way more complicated, though, so I am pretty certain the "designer" of the pieces is much better at fitting them together than I am.  The boxes we move into the various rooms of our new home are capable of being called "pieces", right?  They are labeled that they belong where they have been placed, but not too many of us leave the boxes.  We know their "design" was to house the pieces inside until they had a place to be mounted, displayed, housed, or function.  The box served its purpose, but once the move is over, it no longer belongs.

Sometimes there are pieces of our lives which no longer serve a purpose - things we need to take to the curb, so to speak.  We break down all those packing boxes, placing them in piles to be hauled away by the recycling folks.  We don't leave them in their original form because in order to get rid of them, we have to have them "broken down".  The same is true in our lives - sometimes the pieces we are ready to get rid of must be "broken down" a little so we see they are no longer useful, serving a purpose, and so we can easily move them to the place where we can finally be rid of them!  We recognize the need for something in our lives.  God prepares the design of what will be needed to meet that need.  We allow him to bring the pieces together in such a way the design begins to unfold, then we allow the stuff which no longer fits to be removed so it no longer clutters up the space for that which he has designed! Just sayin!