Ordering Disorder

Posted: January 13, 2012 in becoming
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Around him sat at least 15 open paint cans, a half-dozen paint trays half-full of paint and a good 20 rollers and brushes with paint hardening at the edges.

He looked up at me from the mess, smiled wryly and said, “It would have been a lot easier to do it myself with a paint gun and one helper.

This was what the end of a church painting project at a campground in Mexico.  About 20 people had been recruited, transported, armed with paint “weapons” and turned loose on a couple of now shinning buildings. It worked — kind of.

It’s typical. The  end of most attempts to order the earth have a behind-the-scenes disorder to them.  It’s called clean-up.

Last week, I got out the ladder, and took down the Christmas lights. There was a pile on the lawn, then a pile in the box, then Christmas was again on the top shelf of the garage.

Life is a lot about the clean up, about ordering the disorder created in our attempts to bring about order.

I talked to someone yesterday who is in need of redoing their taxes, in a better way, a more orderly, honest way. They told me that they  have a sense of an era closing. They simply aren’t going to cut corners they used to cut. A new definition of what’s orderly has inspired them and a mess is going to be cleaned up, as best it can be cleaned up.

Paint rollers, taxes, Christmas decorations, the kitchen sink, our minds, our hearts — all need attention, ordering. To leave them as they are is to complicate the future. To order them is to bring about the next thing, to provide an opportunity for something new to happen.

I just cleaned out my clothes closet in my bedroom. Some of the shirts and pants that I had not that long ago bought, placed in my closet, wore, washed and returned to the closet  were now tossed in a box to be donated, in order to restore order to my closet. Some of them, I just wasn’t wearing anymore and they were complicating and hiding the clothes I am wearing.

When I finished, I felt ready, for this year and I felt something else. I felt calm.

Isaiah the Jewish  prophet,  claimed that the effect of being right and doing the right thing is peace.

Order equals calm. I like it,  calm, a sense that for the moment things are okay.

What’s next? We decide, what to do with disorder in our lives.

A good plan for any chaos or mess  might look like the following:

First an ordering of the disorder, then calm.

The garage.

The closet.

The past.

A broken relationship.

A mental confusion.

The inner-most closet of the heart  — think cleanup.

 

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