Chaos. Such a frightening word. It evokes questions that we don’t have answers to:
What should I be doing with my life? How much longer before I gain clarity about my future? Will I ever get clarity? Am I supposed to persevere on my present path? Or am I being merely obstinate?
There’s no shortage of things to be perplexed about. The greatest hinderance to clarity is fear, however, and if our view of chaos is malevolent, we’ll live in a constant state of fear over it. We don’t need to though.
Chaos serves three vital roles in your life and mine:
- Chaos fuels creativity. Chaos is the wake-up call that something within us is misaligned. We have a yearning for something that doesn’t yet exist. Look at what God did with chaos. He spoke into what was “formless and void” (chaos) and created the heavens and earth. Since we are made in His image, aren’t we to do likewise?
- Chaos enlarges our capacity. Leadership guru Max De Pree wrote, “We do not grow by knowing all of the answers, but rather by living with the questions.” Smaller minds are threatened by unresolved questions. The ability to navigate through the open questions in our lives is a sign of maturity and wisdom.
- Chaos invites comfort. The apostle Paul observed that God’s peace is better than understanding (Philippians 4:7). Some questions will not or cannot be fully answered. Nevertheless, we can still have peace. In fact, chaos is our best opportunity to seek the peace of God in our lives. That’s why Paul wrote that, in his hardships, he was “perplexed but not in despair” (2 Corinthians 4:8).
Uncertainty is unsettling. None of us like the feeling of stumbling about. Certainty is a much more enjoyable word—even if we’re wrong in the thing we’re certain about.
But the questions that you and I have in our lives—the very presence of chaos—is really an invitation to create, to grow and to experience peace.
Comment below: What are some other advantages you’ve seen to the open questions in your life?