Order in Chaos

Overheard today: “Life is pretty chaotic; I need to find some order.” It doesn’t matter who said it – if you’ve never had this thought, you probably haven’t thought.

What percentage of our waking hours are spent struggling to order chaos?  So much of what happens is truly beyond our control, how is it that we are to bring or find order?

Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-34

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34

So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

I think he is referring to our efforts to order the chaos of our lives.  Much of what we do is done in some attempt to order chaos, calm the storm, etc., and Jesus reminds of of just how little is really within our control.

Yet we are not left hopeless.  He assures us that God wil take care of us.  He does not say that God will order all the chaos around us.  He doesn’t promise God will calm the storm if (or only if) we do some particular thing (or list of things) or say some particular prayer.  What is offered is that God will take care of us.

What can you and I do in chaos, then?  Take Jesus at his word that God will care for us.

But we can also bring order to that part of our lives over which we do exercise control.  We can learn to act in certain ways and not in other ways.  We can claim responsibility for our own decisions.

Need some order in the midst of the chaos of your life?  Seek God, and order what you have control over.  Let God carry you through the rest.

3 thoughts on “Order in Chaos

  1. I would also add, the metaphor of breathing might also be helpful for overcoming the chaos you can order.

    http://jasonvalendy.blogspot.com/2009/05/spiritual-breathing.html

    God’s breath is one which hovers over the waters of chaos prior to creation. Additionally we are invited by others to breath when life gets chaotic. Perhaps just in breathing we are connecting to the spiritual God breath we are infused with from creation?

    I would highly recommend breathing as a spiritual discipline in the face of chaos.

  2. I think that corresponds to what Jesus said. We try to order our lives, but end up creating a chaos – that which is not ordered under God.
    We must continually break up manmade order to allow God’s order to control our lives. Like the primeval earth, our lives continue to be shaped and made fruitful, and the Spirit groans within us bringing about a new creation.

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