It quickly became chaos. Before I knew it, people were interrupting each other and nearly yelling; and then, someone threw a shoe. (Well, the shoe part didn’t happen, but I thought that was next.)
Some Question and Answer sessions go smoothly. Some are a bit dicey. But others are just plain chaotic. The one I conducted this week was chaotic.
I used to get frustrated when shoes were thrown, but I don’t anymore because I have realized that when chaos ensues, something incredible happens.
What Happens? There are few things that make us more uneasy than asking: “What’s going to happen next?” We all know people who read their horoscope every day, or regularly see a fortune teller. (Perhaps this is why the ancients were fascinated by prophets.) The question “What’s going to happen next?” leads to anxiety, fear and worry. It can even lead to being dishonest with ourselves. And we know: worry is like a dancing bear and dishonesty is like a monkey with clanging cymbals.
As much as we dislike all the chaos affiliated with the circus of uncertainty, there’s a part of us that likes the entertainment factor. That’s why we go to the circus. We wonder, “What will happen if the fire burns him?” or “What will happen if the clown falls of the bike?” The answer makes us cringe. The answer makes us laugh. It’s a messed up dichotomy. And this is the problem with worrying and being dishonest with ourselves. We’re not sure if we love it or hate it. We know that as Christians we can be wrong, and we know we need to embrace change, but somewhere inside we’re a little afraid of what our lives will look like if we do. We’re secretly just waiting for someone to throw a shoe.
What Happens Next? We have a choice to make about what happens next. We’re not just mere spectators of our own fates. In the midst of my circus—the Q&A session—I saw something incredible happen. People started taking initiative. And then bang: Someone said something stupid, someone else said something profound, and then someone found Jesus.
What’s Happening? In the midst of the chaos, someone in my Q&A session realized: “The only way I can sort through this chaos is with the help of Christ.” Because, after all, Jesus is the one who calms storms. He’s the one who sorts through all the chaos in our lives, and He’s the one who chooses to bring us grace.
So here we are, in the circus of life. (I promise that’s not a “Circle of Life” Lion King reference.) We’re attempting to sort through the chaos. But we’ve become so wrapped up in the show that we’ve forgot that we chose to be here in the first place. We’re the ones who made a choice to approach life this way. We’re the ones who make positive and negative choices every day. So before we have a problem with God, maybe we need to evaluate the problems with us.If we’re going to see the infinite in everything, we need to stop the circus. We need to stop the show.
What’s your show? What’s holding you back? What’s your dancing bear? What’s your monkey with clanging cymbals? What’s keeping you addicted to the chaos? What’s separating you from Jesus who wants to bring order to it all?
Share with us, and maybe we can get people praying for you. (I know I will.)