'Day One' Blog

Structure, Systems & Duplication


I would never buy a book with this title. It’s ridiculous. O well.

I’m musing about the systems God invented and put in place when He made the universe. He designed earth to essentially look after itself. Geology, astronomy, chemistry, these are all systems. Our physiological body is a system. God made them all.

Humans like to make systems too. We crave predictability and control, doing what we can to project into the future, creating structure (the system’s 1st cousin), to minimize discomfort and maximize our life experience. We do it on a global scale toying with climate control and we bring it to the household in the form of robotic vacuum devises. We devise systems to educate our children, to mass communicate, to take the individual around the world without ever having to leave their desk and laptop or smartphone.

I’m drawn to systems. I like efficiency. I create structure and lists and cubbies for every little thing and I use them for what they’re intended. What’s on my mind these days is my tendency to lay siege to the structures I’m familiar with, so that they become the focus of what I think will bring me what I want, be that safety, comfort, success in my work, spiritual pursuits…pretty much anything that translates into forward motion, (my definition of it). It’s right at this point that I find myself on a precipice, teetering on the verge of out right idolatry.

If I’m not very, very careful, I find myself inviting God into the familiar structures of my life, giving him ‘permission’ to use what I know works. But the deal is this: God compares me to a sheep and refers to Himself often as Shepherd. A sheep finds his sense of wellbeing solely in his shepherd. The shepherd may use a staff, a fence, a salve, a grassy field, a stream……. any manner of things he chooses to care for his sheep. But there is no question that the shepherd is the source, providing structure and systems as he sees fit.

A sheep never mistakes a fence for his shepherd. But I do. So God teaches me to hold very loosely the forms I have seen Him use before. Will God use the form again? He is no way bound to. And it’s ludicrous to believe He should because of how well it served Him in the past. Form, structure, systems…… they’re VALUELESS if not contracted by, sanctioned by and inhabited by God. He doesn’t duplicate. He doesn’t have to.

I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road
in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.

~Isaiah 43:19~


  • Bridget

    His wildness and unpredictability are both exciting and terrifying. Perhaps that’s why I seek security so often; I am afraid of what He may choose to do with, in, and/or through me. However, desiring His best over my own comfort is what creates a life worth living. I am just so grateful for His gentleness with me…

  • Marsha Skidmore

    Thanks Anne,
    Honest and true – I pray I will seek out my Shepherd more than I see out my security.
    Love you-

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