Monday, October 12, 2009
I find that compartmentalizing my life is a convenient way of keeping things under control, but there are dangers that I need to be aware of, because there are important overriding and overlapping principles and beliefs that govern what happens within the compartments. The sort of compartmentalizing that takes place can fit into various categories like health, time given to other people, spiritual nourishment, play, outreach, teaching, friends, family, church, and the list goes on. I am comprised of mind, spirit and body and all three reflect my principles and beliefs which in turn govern what happens within the compartments of my life. Take physical health as an example; to be healthy I need nutritious food and drink, exercise and sleep. Each of these can be compartmentalized; for example, food is consumed at breakfast, lunch and evening dinner, with breaks between for coffee and tea. This is not a rigid routine because meals can be taken at other times according to circumstances. I monitor the amount and types of food I eat to maintain a balance sufficient for my bodily needs. Exercise consists of a daily 3 mile walk plus whatever physical effort may be required for doing things like cutting the lawns, cleaning the house, running errands etc. I need at least 7 hours sleep in 24 hours, but this is not always possible.
The danger of compartmentalization is fragmentation which may separate compartments, and while operating within compartments I may forget or exclude my governing principles and beliefs. As a Christian I have a strong principle of endeavouring to please my Lord who is Jesus. This I have failed to do on many occasions, but that does not prevent me trying. Therefore whatever compartment I am operating in, the principle of pleasing Jesus is uppermost. This principle comes through my belief and trust in Him. If I am with friends, family, church or whoever, I need to constantly be on my guard to make sure I’m being faithful to Him and that the principle is being demonstrated. On the face of it, this is a hard to achieve, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, it is not beyond my reach. If you’ve never thought of deliberately compartmentalizing your life, I suggest you have a go, but take it from me you’ll be able to manage it easier if you have overriding principles and beliefs that govern what goes on within each compartment. Christian principles and beliefs weld the compartments together so that they resemble a structured building with God as the foundation (2 Timothy 2:19) and Christ the chief cornerstone. (Acts 4:11)