Patterns in the Chaos

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Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

When I think of the phrase, patterns in the chaos, I think of Jody Foster in the movie Contact. She had headphones on and was listening to the sounds in outer space that were picked up by the Radio Telescope Array in New Mexico. Someone asked her what she was doing and she replied, “I’m listening for patterns in the chaos.”  No matter where the chaos is,  it is a good thing to look for patterns in it.

As humans living on this planet, we deal with multiple forms of chaos. Take nature, for instance. Where there is a hurricane, earthquake, tornado, or tsunami; we must deal with the resultant chaos that ensues. Each leaves a pattern of destruction in its wake in one form another. We have no control over this kind of chaos. All we can do is pick up the pieces and try to fix whatever has been broken or destroyed.

Then there is the chaos that is brought into our lives by others. If we have relatives or friends who have substance abuse problems, we know there is a form of chaos that swirls around them and the situations they find themselves in. Or if we have a family member or coworker who is unorganized or irresponsible, they create a level of chaos that we may or may not have to deal with. When we step back, we can usually see a pattern in their chaos. Again, we have no control over what another person does, only how we decide to relate to it.  Recognizing the pattern gives us the understanding we need  in order to deal with it.

None of us like to look at the chaos that we cause. When we make bad decisions, i.e. don’t pay our bills on time, spend money irresponsibly, or use poor judgment in one way or another; we create a level of chaos. When we step back and look at it, we can see there is a pattern to the chaos and that we alone are responsible for it. If we can recognize the pattern, we can learn to change our behavior. Fortunately, we do have control over this form of chaos and can do something about it.

There is another form of chaos that comes into our lives from spiritual forces. Have you ever made a positive decision spiritually? Perhaps you have decided to draw closer to the Lord, read your Bible more, give more to the Lord, or lead a Bible Study. If you have, you know that soon after you made the decision, you are bombarded with things or distractions that want to negate that particular decision. We each deal with an enemy of our souls that wants to keep us right where we are and prevent us from moving forward. Initially, and from time to time, these forces come against us. We don’t have control over them, but we can pray and ask the Lord to protect us from them. In order to take positive action (prayer) we must step back and see the pattern. Then we can recognize what is happening to us and begin to engage in the spiritual battle.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6: 12-13

Oblivious

knight-3003641_640Image by Yuri B. Courtesty of Pixabay.

Have you ever watched someone walking through a crosswalk while texting? The person is totally oblivious to what is going on around him. A speeding car could be coming in his direction and because he is not paying attention, he could be hit and killed. When I see people doing that, I want to shake them and tell them to “Wake Up!” A whole world is going on around them and they are distracted to the point of oblivion. Because of this, they put themselves in danger because of their inattention. 

Not only is this true in the material world, it is true in the spiritual world. If a person is totally unaware of the supernatural forces that may be affecting and directing him, he can end up in a very dangerous place. There are spiritual beings that are bent on the destruction of man and they are more than happy to take advantage of someone who is unaware of their existence. The materialist is in a war he cannot win because he doesn’t even know he is in one. He is at the mercy of the spiritual forces around him. 

Even if you are a spiritual person and believe in the supernatural, it is easy to become distracted and not realize the forces that are vying for our attention. Turn on the average television show or movie. Most of them have gratuitous sex, swearing and violence intentionally programed in so that our minds will be filled with negative images. Many of the thoughts and temptations we deal with are in our minds because a worker of darkness has placed them there. 

If we don’t want to become a victim of the warfare that is going on around us, we must not be oblivious to what is happening in the supernatural arena. We must arm ourselves daily with the spiritual armor the Lord has provided for us: truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, prayer, the gospel of peace and the word of God. Only then can we hope to not be a casualty of the spiritual war we are in. 

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Ephesians 6: 10-13