Brian Bauknight



Grass cutting season has almost come to an end. The season has been more doable and more enjoyable this year because of the addition of a zero-turn mower to our “fleet” of yard care equipment.  The task now takes less time by about 1/3.  Even so, mowing is almost daily during the Spring growing season—in excess of 10-12 hours each week.  Later in the summer and into Fall, not as much. 
How do I know where to start on any given day?  I developed a system.  I keep a record in my smart phone.  I have about 12 acres to keep mowed.  So I divided the cutting into manageable areas—and I named them: front yards, horse pasture, back four, solar array area, pool yard, barn yard, etc.  About 16 different areas in all!  I record the date when each area is cut.  When I prepare to mow on any given day, I can easily see the probable areas that need current attention.  I don’t need to ride around looking at all the property.  My wife thinks it’s humorous.  I like it. Very systematic.
I do the same kind of thing with our household budget.  I track expenses in different categories and escrow funds for annual or semi-annual payments like car or property insurance.  Very systematic.
I keep lists (in my smart phone) of various smaller projects around the property.  Then I check off (and delete) items on the list as they are completed.  Very systematic.
I suppose all of this behavioral style is in my nature.  For whatever reason, I have always been an organized person.  It’s in my nature.  I was an undergraduate math major in college.  My #1 spiritual gift is “administration.”  No surprise there!
I am not sure that faith is systematic, however.  I am not sure there is really any such thing as “systematic” theology. I enrolled in the required courses in systematic theology in seminary.  Mostly, I learned that systematic theologians seldom agree.  Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Rudolf Bultmann, Dietrich Bonhoffer  (I’m showing my age here!): all from two countries in the same part of Europe; profoundly deep, little agreement.  Mystery abounds.  Grace abounds.
All I really know is that God is good—all the time.  And I deeply believe that while God does not will everything that happens, in everything that happens God wills good.
I am content to live under that reality.  I cannot organize God.  I can only “keep my eyes upon Jesus” and discover all I need to know about God, God’s purpose, God’s intent, and God’s radically different kind of Kingdom. I celebrate that very unsystematic but profound gift in my journey of faith and adventure.


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