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Customer Review

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captaining the ship from the bridge., October 12, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Ordering Your Private World (Paperback)
ORDERING YOUR PRIVATE WORLD By Gordon Macdonald Reviewed by Lindsay Woods
In this book, Gordon Macdonald looks at an aspect of our lives that is commonly overlooked, often with devastating results. He speaks of an area of our life apart from the external. If we think of our public life being filled with work, relationships and different achievements, them we might think of our private world a where we spend time with God and become spiritually refreshed.
Gordon likens it to a bridge on a ship, where we assess our life for signs of impending crisis, or burnout. Where we access all information, on our current state. Our motivations, relationships, spirit, and calendar are all checked.
He discusses the danger of unchecked motivation. One of the things he looks at is the person who is driven to achieve their goals, how to recognize them, and the things that suffer in their pursuit. He uses a case study to illustrate the point, detailing an individual who's aims were wealth, and prestige - external things. A person with no use for internal qualities like wisdom. The results being that he was receiving counsel to save his marriage.
Gordon looks at the contrast between driven people and called people. The latter recognizing that they are stewards of the life that God has given them, and that any position that they have is from God therefore they needn't strive to achieve or equally to maintain.
Our usage of Time is examined. Criteria for evaluating effective time usage, and guidelines for improving productivity. Symptoms like broken deadlines, dislike of work and self, and lack of intimacy with God point to poor time organization. Time is a gift from God, that must be used carefully. Gordon suggests that it must be budgeted much like money, and for the most part the budget adhered to. We must learn to do the most important things, not necesarily the most urgent. We should spend most of our time doing what we are best at.
We need to at training our minds, in both knowledge and wisdom. Our minds should be sharp, going beyond accumulation of information, but working with that information in order to be able to answer to hard question that people face. We do this by listening, reading and studying.
Gordon also looks at the importance of hearing from God, and the necessity of time spent in silence to be able to. He suggest keeping of a journal as a means of expression to God, keeping track of progress and answered prayer.
He finishes by looking at restoration and the need for a Sabbath rest. This is differentiated form leisure. Leisure is the pursuit of interests, past times, whereas rest is actively getting spirit refreshed. Having a set aside with plenty of time for prayer, reading, walks, etc.
I found this book held my interest. I particularly wanted to learn about ordering my time, as I don't seem to have much surplus. The section of the book dealing with this was very useful in suggesting the idea of budgeting time, in advance. I have started using my diary much more, to plan ahead. The main thing I am working on at the moment is sticking to the plans I make. This is not always straightforward. I am budgeting more time for prayer and reading, and fitting a Sabbath day into my calendar when my job takes over a Sunday.
Also along the same lines, is the fact that my time can be swallowed up with my doing things that I am O.K. at, but which prevent me from giving more time to things that I am best at. I am trying to work out which things I should be letting go of at the moment.
A lot of the things that he talked about seemed to be very sensible and helpful. I am working on applying them to my life.
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