Chaos Theory (part 1)

The last week we talked about how we’re supposed to be grace wholesalers, but we’re not. So here’s my question: Why don’t more churches and why don’t more Christians act as grace wholesalers?

One of the reasons is because of chaos. What I mean is that people are messy! In “No Perfect People Allowed,” John Burke shares these stats: For the average person under age of 40: 1 of 3 women have had an abortion; 1 of 4 women have been sexually molested before the age of 18 (which obviously creates huge trust issues); 1 of 2 couples lived together; 1 of 5 are involved in substance abuse; 1 of 5 smoke (2 o f 5 if for people in their 20’s); 1 of 2 marriages eventually fail. People are messy! And it’s like, we want to serve people, but we don’t want to deal with their messiness!

But we have to. Why? Well, but that’s where God is, He’s with those people, in the chaos. Let me explain what I mean. What is very the first thing we see God doing in the bible? The stock answer is “creating” but I think the correct answer is “hovering.” The bible describes what God was hovering over as “formless,” “empty,” and “darkness.” I understand that the idea here, in the original language of the bible, is of chaos. It’s like God was hovering over this dark, chaotic messiness. What happens next? God dives into it, and he brings light to the darkness, order to the chaos, and beauty to the messiness.

And I know this scene sort of has to come first, like chronologically, but I wonder if it also comes first because this is one of the specialties of God. I think God is just really good at bringing light to darkness, order to chaos, and beauty to messiness. We see this happening in Jesus life all the time. Jesus’ “m.o.” was to go into a town, hover around a little, and then dive into the dark, chaotic, messy places in people’s lives, and to bring light, order, and beauty.

See God has never changed much. What we find him doing at the beginning of the Old Testament we find him doing in the beginning of the New Testament. And he’s still doing the same thing today. So, what I’ve come to realize is that if I follow Jesus, he may let me hover with him for a little while, but then he will always lead me to bring light to darkness, order to chaos, and beauty to messiness.

And so, if we’re gonna follow Jesus we’ll have to follow him into dark, chaotic, messy places, and sometimes it’s in other people’s lives. And, again, we don’t want to go there – but it’s the only way we can follow Jesus.

Next time I’ll share an example of this from my life.

Until then, don’t squeeze the Charmin.

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