Saturday, April 2, 2022

Chaos Comes to Town

 Second day of April. Where are we now?

Well, there should be a useful, thought-provoking post that I can put up but instead I’ve got this: there’s always something that’s going to go wrong.

Look, I hate to be the bearer of that bad news, but it’s fundamentally true. Something is going to go wrong. You just cannot prevent it. You cannot out-think it. You cannot out-prepare it. You cannot simply wish it away as if, by keeping a positive outlook, the bad won’t creep in.

So what do you do with that?

Three steps:

1. Recognize the inevitability of chaos. Chaos comes in; therefore it is likely not your fault that it hit. Did you plan the reasonable things? Did you prepare for normal issues? Were you ready for one injury but not four? Were you hiking in the woods and therefore not expecting electrical shocks? That may sound like an appeal to absurdity, but look—that type of thing does happen and it’s not your fault for being in the woods. Did you plan to rely on someone normally reliable?

See, when you add others in, there’s a chance for chaos there: a reliable person isn’t exempt from flat tires or dead batteries. It happens. The world is not stacked toward easy street; it’s stacked toward chaos.

That means: do not blame yourself if you have prepared for reasonable situations. And use someone else’s definition of reasonable, Overthinkers of the World! Yes, asteroids have hit the earth before but it is not reasonable to expect it again during your golf game.

2. Start with a simple purpose that can be recovered when things go wrong. What was your purpose? For a church event—was it eat perfect food or have fellowship time? Have a defined purpose for what you are doing and when the chaos hits, focus on recovering the purpose not the plan. 

Say that with me again: focus on the purpose, not the plan.

Tomorrow morning, we gather with the church family for our weekly time of worship. Our purpose is to speak to one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, feast on the Word, pray together, and have fellowship time. It is not to accomplish the bulletin points—though those fit that purpose. If it goes off the rails, the purpose can still be recovered.

3. Remember that blame is cheap but learning is priceless. Why do you want to know whose fault anything is? To blame them? Lazy move. Almost useless.

To learn and to help others learn? Invaluable move. It helps alleviate the chaos and provides a purpose going forward. One can find fulfillment even when it goes wrong.

Oh, and if someone claims to take the blame but doesn’t take responsibility for learning? Then they are not getting the point.

Chaos happens. Things go wrong. Survive it and thrive with it as best you can. 

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