When emergency personnel want to quickly evaluate the mental condition of someone struggling, they do a quick assessment called “Oriented Times Three.” They ask the person a series of easy questions. They want to know if the man or woman in question knows who they are, where they are and what day it is.
If they can answer all three correctly, they are “alert and oriented, times three!”
It occurs to me that we could use that same series of questions in a spiritual context. When someone is hurting; their world is upside down and the circumstances of life are bombarding them, they get disoriented. In those circumstances, it is very easy for us all to “lose our way.” Perhaps when that happens, a Godly friend ought to use that “Oriented Times Three” approach to help us get back on track spiritually.
Answering those queries in a Biblical sort of way can help us reframe our situation.
So, for the guy or gal who is distraught with their current reality, here’s the first question: Do you know who you are? My proposed answer: Yep, I am a child of God. I was in His mind since creation (Gen. 1:26). He thought of me before my birth (Ps. 139:15-16). He chose my particulars. He has me in His mind. He sings over me regularly (Zeph. 3:17). I know who I am, I am a child of God!
Second question: Do you know where you are? My proposed answer: Yep, I am on earth with a job to do (Eph. 2:10). I am right where He wants me to be. I have purpose and my life has meaning (I Peter 2:9). I am in route to heaven where the pain and challenges of this life will grow dim and I will spend all eternity praising my Savior (Rev. 21:3-4). I know where I am and where I am going!
Third question: Do you know what day is today? My proposed answer: Yep, it is today. And today is gift that I should relish. I am supposed to forget about the past (Phil. 3:13) and stop worrying about the future (Matt. 6:34). My focus needs to be on Jesus who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). I know what day it is. “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. “ (Psalm 118:24)
So maybe this week we can all work on being “oriented times three.” It’s a blessed place to be!