RICHLAND -- I've been thinking about chaos lately, at least ever since a co-worker trudged into my office exasperated over the random tinkering of other engineers; our equivalent of too many cooks in the broth.
Since then, I've seen chaos arise whenever everyone talks at once, whenever information overloads us, or whenever all tasks move to top priority (strange how that happens). At home, chaos is four drivers wanting to use two cars or too many people in the kitchen -- though I'll likely miss this chaos one day.
Certain chaos seems to suck the energy right out of me. Then I stagger away exhausted and empty. I don't know where the time went or where I was going so fast. My internal compass spins around without the slightest pull to any one direction. In foggy hindsight, it seemed I vaulted from morning to evening and somehow lost several precious hours of life in between.
Often, a meditative prayer during the bus ride home from work offers the only recovery. Too rarely, I can afford a long walk along the river where God's simple, glorious order reveals itself in water that always flows downhill, geese that migrate in due season and the rhythm of winter slumber awakening to spring renewal. Perfect and beautiful order.
Perhaps I'm not made for chaos. Maybe I'm made for order. As Paul says, our Creator "is not the God of disorder but of peace" (1 Corinthians 14:33). That's probably why chaos wearies and frustrates me. But what must I order?
From the old prophets, I understood that "there is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens" (Ecclesiastes 3:1). And through Jesus' example, I have learned that order involves not only thought, soul, and activity, but time, wealth, and possessions. In essence, every breathing moment must fall into place, God's place.
To reconnect with God's redeeming order, I struggle to prioritize my life, retaining the good and discarding the bad. And I want to stop equating busy with productive-and busyness with a full life.
That likely started when I was rushing children around to various events because I want them to have a full life. Instead, I may have taught them a chaotic, disordered life. Meanwhile, my spiritual life suffered-then theirs suffered. I couldn't teach my children to connect with their god because I couldn't.
Learning that Jesus would often slip away from the hubbub and pray, restoring his connection with God (Mark 1:35), I look for chances to escape the chaos. Sometimes, my escape is prayer in a quiet, hidden place or a long walk with an iPod full of spiritual insights.
Sometimes, it's joining the Cursillo community for praise, prayer, and fellowship.
Sometimes, it's simply daily Mass before another crazy day at work.
Whatever the escape, breathing and eating are no more essential. Chaos still arises and with it, the typical struggles, but as Cursillo reminds me, "Christ and I are an overwhelming majority."
* Daniel Sisk is a member of Christ the King Catholic Church in Richland. Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom,333 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.