I should be a chaotician

Posted: August 25, 2008 in Happenings, Perspective

Why?  My life is chaotic – it could be a case study in chaos theory.  The chaos that is my existence is not necessarily a bad thing, since there is a lot of “good” in there.  But there are days when everything seems to spiral out of control and I want to pull what’s left of my hair out.  Let me just tell you about the past few days…

The good:

My wife doesn’t get much time “off” these days, so when she found an opportunity to take Thursday off, I jumped at the opportunity to get out of Decatur for a mini-vacation (that only lasted about 6 hours).  We embarked to the exotic city of Birmingham, Alabama, where we found adventure at the great destination that is Guitar Center, and had and exquisite meal of chicken fingers, fries, and onion rings at Jim N’ Nick’s BBQ.  Zachary stayed well-behaved, so the trip was a great way to relax for a bit – even if only for a few hours.  We had good food, good time away from the ordinary chaos of life, and I even managed to find a new “toy” at Guitar Center (more on that one later).  And somehow, my wife and kids managed to go to the animal shelter and bring home a new furball (one that meows) to console my kids who are still reeling for Nala’s disappearance.  (*Note:  The only reason this is in the “good” column is so that no one gets word back to my wife that it shoud be in the “bad” section…LOL.  Now that I’ve said that:  “Silence!  I kill you”… if you tell her).

Saturday night was fun over at Jack’s, where we hung out with some of the people who helped all the setup/breakdown on Sundays.

Finally, In spite of the rain and pseudo-expected weather-related drop in attendance at Crosspoint, Sunday was a great day.  Church was moving, staff meeting was productive AND short (great combination), and we managed a return trip to B’ham for dinner, yet again, at Jim N’ Nick’s (with Jason, Eli, and their new offspring coming along for the ride).

Sounds good, right?

The Bad:

It’s just easier to list this stuff – and mind you, this is all from this past week:

  • Headaches – nothing is fun with them.
  • Lack of sleep – there’s a story with this one:  My son, Zachary, has this pesky habit of being wired at like midnight.  Every night, especially Saturday night – when I am already fighting sleeplessness out of anticipation of Sunday mornings.  Nothing like leading worship when you want to lay down on the stage and take a nap!
  • Illness – Yes, that time of year is back, and I’m already fighting some sort of chest cold or lung mucus anomaly.  Fun.  That combines with the “lack of sleep” button above to make even more chaos (which increases headaches, too…sigh).
  • The house is a mess.  It’s been doing well, but like a game of Jenga – one more thing gets pulled out, and – POOF! – it will be domestic chaos incarnate.
  • Time – time itself seems move valuable than gold these days.  Before you know it, it’s Monday again..then Tuesday…then August…the Christmas.  Sheesh…no time to rest.
  • Rest – even more elusive.  We get in bed too late (see the whole Zachary thing above).  And even when we make time for mini-trips to B’ham or something like that, the Friday after that seems to be just a day of playing catch-up since you dared take some time off the day before.  Life, please slow down.
  • Fatigue – this is more than sleepiness.  This is the fact that I have not taken a vacation in a full year.  Before you think I’m whining, realize that I’m a firm believer in Sabbath time – and we pay for it when we don’t make time to rest.

Chaos.  Some good – even GREAT! – things amidst the choas, but there is chaos nonetheless.

But there are two things I believe/think/know about chaos:

  1. Life creates chaos.  It’s just a part of life that we all must deal with.  I do not believe anyone can be truly chaos-free, because we live in a fallen world with billions of other people who are mixing all of their chaoses (?) together.  It’s amazing we function at all.  Seriously, the truth is that life throws us unexpected things, and if we are not equipped to deal with it, then we will always feel that we only live to survive the chaos.  And merely surviving is not what God has designed us to do.
  2. We create chaos –  by sinning, by being lazy, by being overextended, by being work-a-holics, by complicating our lives.  We invite the chaos in by doing things we know we should not do.  Like junkies addicted to some drug, it’s almost as if we’re addicted to chaos, because we simply will not give up on some things we need to give up to make our lives simpler.

I had a professor in college who loved the story of Creation in Genesis 1.  Especially the part that reads, “And the Spirit of God moved across the surface of the waters…”  The term “waters” (or “deep”) is a Hebrew word meaning “chaos” (to-hu-wa-bo-hu).  In a sense, the story of creation is the story of God making order out of chaos.  When we engage in sin or just bad habits (also sin), it goes against the very nature of creation itself.  When God is not Lord over our lives, we invite chaos (de-creation) back into our lives.  That is such a neat way of looking at why sin is so contradictory to the nature of God, and why it is so destructive to us.

I want God’s creative power to bring order to the chaos of my life.  I want to be the kind of person ready to handle life when unexpected things happen.  I also want to be the kind of person who doesn’t invite chaos into my life with sin and with extraordinarily bad habits.

And since I have important things I should be doing and need to get done bofore things get more chaotic, I’ll begin my chaos-controlling efforts by ending this blog post now 😉 .

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