April 22

Chaos:  Confused by the cyclone of chaos and turmoil

       “Things are perfect right now.  I just wish I could keep my life like this forever!”  It wasn’t the first time I’d heard her use the word “perfect.”  I’ve known her since I was a kid and always thought she was a bit of a control-freak.  Everything always had to be wonderful and perfect; but of course it never was.  In fact, there was always a certain amount of turmoil in her otherwise perfectly ordered life. 

       I feel her suffering, her constant need to control and contain everything around her.  It’s a wonderful fantasy to wish that things could remain perfect and never change.  But it’s just not possible.  The only constant is change.  Everything is constantly changing:  growing and developing.  To wish that away is to resist the natural order of things.

       There is something quite natural and necessary about chaos.  This may not sit well with you if you are an orderly and methodical person. However, it appears to be part of the evolution of life – the progressive development of and the continual change in the universe.  We do not live in a perfect universe that doesn’t need to change.  The perfection of this world is that it can change and be transformed! 

       It’s actually chaos that brings about change.  And change is inevitable, as is pain, death and taxes.  To resist change is to create more chaos!  To try to control things that are bigger and more powerful than us, we create all kinds of chaos and turmoil – just by resisting it.  We could save ourselves a lot of suffering by accepting what is and by letting go and letting God work in our lives. 

       Nature’s way is best.  When a seed falls into the ground it “dies” before the life inside it can grow and expand.  You can’t help the seed to grow; you must let nature take its course.  Consider the caterpillar:  It must form a chrysalis and remain cocooned before it can become a butterfly.  Trying to help the butterfly escape the confines of the cocoon would only lead to its demise.  

       There is a natural order to the way our lives unfold.  Our resistance to chaos (the natural order of how things change) creates more chaos and slows down our evolution and growth.  We must learn to get out of the way.  Trying to control what can’t be controlled will always result in more chaos.

       Perhaps it’s time to step back and observe.  Back away from what’s going on in order to get a better perspective.  That’s right.  Simply watch what’s happening and notice your reaction to it; learn to observe without passing judgment.  Learn to love what is.  Begin to realize that the only things you can control are your thoughts about what is. 

       It takes time to gain control over your thoughts.  This is not an easy thing to do.  But if you begin with simply being aware of your thoughts – if you learn how to think about your thinking – you will have made a great start toward gaining more control.  And control is really what we want, is it not?  Not the kind of control that causes us to suffer because we’re resisting, but authentic power and control over that which is our only choice:  Our thoughts.    

 Tomorrow’s topic – Chaos:  The absence of order