Out Of Sorts? … Good morning Hump Day readers, glad to have you on this middle-of-the-week Camel-day. If you are needing a good push to get over the hump and get to the weekend, you’re probably like many others out there, “oh when will this crazy week end!” Whether you are working or retired, there are just those days that, like my maternal grandmother would say, “I’m out of sorts.” As a kid I didn’t quite get that but I sure do now. As we get older and hopefully wiser, we are thinking we’re past that crazy stuff and each day is well-sorted with just exactly what we want to do. Huh—pipe-dreams indeed exist!!
Are you “out of sorts”—Webster defines this idiom of the word ‘sort’ like this: “If you are out of sorts, you feel slightly unwell, upset, or annoyed.” The Free Dictionary says “an irritable, grouchy, or unhappy mood.” Go back to the word ‘sort’ and you can see how the idiom is perfect for the noun: “a group of things that are of the same type or that share similar qualities” and then there is the verb definition of ‘sort’ that has you doing what the noun meant: “to put a number of things in an order or to separate them into groups.”
Here’s a funny story that happened recently to my brother-in-law, Adrian–a snowbird in winter here in AZ where we live on his acreage in winter as well. Adrian had ordered something from Costco, It was to arrive in just a few days, but we know how the supply chain is moving today and here is the ridiculous timeline–get ready to laugh: “Feb 24-27 – Sun–12:38 AM-Arrived at Facility-UPS package not arrived yet(duh?)/5:09 AM-Processing at UPS Facility, Anaheim/ CA-8:38 AM Out for Delivery Today, Anaheim, CA … Adrian doesn’t live in CA!…Feb 28 – Mon–11:12 PM-Departed from Facility/Riverside, CA-12:18 PM Arrived at Facility/8:18 AM-Departed from Facility…Feb 26 – Sat- Goodyear, AZ-8:38 AM–The package was refused and will be returned to the sender. Adrian doesn’t live in Goodyear AZ!/ 9:00 AM-We’re sorry this package has experienced a sortation delay; package has been rerouted to the correct destination.” It finally arrived at Adrian’s home in early March.
I hear you all chuckling about the “sortation delay.” Honestly, none of us had ever heard of such a definition. I tucked this away for a devotion because it hit my spiritual funny-bone. How often are we “sortation delayed?” It’s easy to get out-of-sorts in our lives because our well-planned plans are not sorting the way we planned!
I think Scripture has a good definition for our “sortation delay” in 1Corinthians 14:33 (NLT) “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…” This passage is talking to the confusion in the churches in Corinth regarding their ways of worship, but it speaks well to us in our “out-of-sorts” times. Our confusion, our annoyances, our irritable, grouchy, or unhappy moods, are not something from God, yet we tend to shout out to God saying, “why is this happening to me?” or “Why such a delay?”
We think we order our daily steps, we sort our daily activities, we have it all figured out, and then we get “sortation delay.” Have we asked God about what we are doing? Have we invited the wisdom of God to help us sort out the blips of life, the confusing moments, and the often annoyances that make us annoyed? You may say, “Cyndy, this is minor stuff, God doesn’t need to be bothered with this” but you would be very wrong. God knows us inside and out, even the number of hairs on our heads—reread Psalm 139, it will tell you in detail how God knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. That blows up our plans, doesn’t it?
Psalm 37:23 [NLT] is another reminder about how God orders our steps: “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Notice the ‘every’ detail of our lives concerns God? When we are out-of-sorts, God isn’t! Instead God is working it out for us because every detail of our lives is not only important to God, it is also part of God’s plan for our lives, which we know is vastly different from the plans we have sorted-out for life.
Until we all take our last breath, we will experience “sortation delay.” Whether that delay is short or long, it flusters our “I want it done now” mentality and we get out-of-sorts. God is telling us to stop it. God is asking us to let the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and leading be a part of our plans, our sorting, and our hopes and dreams.
Friends, God defines us—not the world and certainly not the days we are out-of-sorts. When your thoughts and emotions are described by a dictionary, shut the book and grab the Bible—God’s good book—and you will find the way to remove your out-of-sort moods and start living the plans God has sorted out for you! Now I think that requires an AMEN—so be it, indeed—AMEN!