Chaos is one of those words (along with religion, and judgment to name a couple of others) that modern usage has cast into a strictly negative mold for the ready consumption of the uninformed and the media-informed masses.
It means a confused mass or mixture, and when written capitalized as Chaos, it means “the confused unorganized state of primordial matter before the creation of distinct forms.” So, you can see where it can be taken negatively.
Yet life is filled with confusion and unorganized states into which we find ourselves cast, sometimes through no fault of our own. I do not believe we find ourselves in such situations through chance. I believe life is ordered by God.
I have friends that will quickly remind me that God is not the author of confusion. This is true and no contradiction for chaos is not an end state. It is a transitionary state. It is the catalyst for growth—the disruption of the routine that sparks the fires of refinement.
I experienced this as I piled the role of publisher atop my writing career. I was not prepared for the frustration, confusion, and uncertainty the task demanded. What was I thinking? Was I thinking at all?
I got up from the keyboard the other day overwhelmed by the forces beating the hell out of me. I had not written in weeks caught up in an unending fight with deadlines, marketing, advertising, and editing. Every time I found a sure footing the ground shifted in a sea of constant changes to the work already done. I was ready to quit—not just publishing but writing as well.
Through the 107th Psalm, God spoke. That particular discourse on life reminded me of something I knew well. It speaks about where success is found… at your wit’s end. In one place it says, “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”
God is not the author of confusion—He is the author of transformation. He tears down the walls of misplaced trust, unhealthy certainties, and false sources of power tossing us into chaos to bring about our transformation as a new creature.
I have no misconceptions that all my struggles, tribulations, and frustration with this new role are passed. On the contrary, the touch of chaos they add to my life is making something new of me.
This is the very thing I do every time I sit to write a story. I have my hero, crisis and tension throw him into chaos, and he emerges changed, wiser if not healthier, and wealthier.
When I look up from the chaos that overflows me and sees the divine hands at work, my tongue truly is the pen of a ready writer.