Armodoxy for Today: Order
Chaotic life is difficult life. Chaos is characterized by random or unpredictable behavior. Hence, chaos carries a negative connotation because unpredictability leads to undesired results, disorganization and confusion. As people we opt for organization. The laws of gravity are organization on a large, astronomical scale, but on a human scale, we like things to fit properly and have order to them.
And then there’s life, which can be unpredictable, almost to the point of randomness, but not quite. In gambling casinos, slot machines are very popular, and though they are computerized and have schedule of payouts, we know that they are a very popular attraction as people try to beat the odds of a seemingly random spin of the wheels. In fact, most gambling games are based on certain formulas that include random factors, and yet the popularity of these games is a testament to people trying to beat the odds, or we can say, predict the unpredictable.
A chaotic life is a difficult life. Religion is a means of bringing order to the chaos by explaining the unexplainable. Something as beautiful as childbirth, for instance, is accompanied by excruciating pain. In the Book of Genesis, when God says to the woman, “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children…” (3:16) we find one such example of an explanation. With a curse by God, we receive an answer to the question of why does a lovely and natural event such as childbirth come with massive pain?
Much of life is filled with these puzzles, some are associated with the mundane, while others address issues of war, pain and suffering. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good things happen to bad people? These twin questions usually stimulate people to seek answers in the spiritual world, in religion. There seems to be a random distribution of goods in the world. Why are some born to poverty and struggle through all of life, while others, of no effort of their own, are born in prosperity and seem to enjoy a life of luxury?
Religion gives, or should attempt to give, answers to these questions. At the end, the object is to bring order from seeming chaos.
In Christianity, the answer is given by Jesus Christ. His answer is pure and asks that we engage with Him in such a way that “Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” That engagement is the gravity that brings order to the chaos of our lives.
Today, by way of prayer, we read the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10) – Jesus’ definition of a life lived with the order of God:
- “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
- Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
- Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.