I need to thank my friend René. He got me thinking about chaos.
I’ve been working lately to create a new life—one where I am the “Master of my fate…the Captain of my soul.”1 One where there is less chaos, more peace; less insanity and more grounded-ness. But wow, have I been frustrated. Sad. Even depressed. My now doesn’t match my vision and that’ll drive a Type-A creator like me just about crazy-pants.
This is a confusing state in which to live. We possess the divine within us—scripture tells us this straight up in 1 Corinthians 2:16:
For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.
That first bit that’s in all caps is a question from the Old Testament—an old way of thinking. The answer is that we have the mind of Christ. There’s no striving or trying to figure out how to get the mind of Christ. We just have it.
So…what does that mean? The Greek word for “mind” means the intellect, and involves thought, feeling, and will.2 And when it’s used in this passage, it has an additional shade of meaning involving purpose and desire. When I put this all together, it seems that I have the intellect, thoughts, feelings, purposes, and desires of Christ. Well, dang. Who knew?
My friend Rev. Cynthia Alice introduced me to the more widely known concept that thoughts + feelings = manifestation. It’s a simple notion, really, but one which requires constant discipline and “renewing of [the] mind” (Romans 12:2). I chuckle when folks describe this path as easy. It’s not. Herding your thoughts and feelings can be a monumental—but certainly not impossible!—task. When I can get my thoughts pointed in the right direction and begin to feel the delight of living in my purpose, the life I want to live will manifest. To make something manifest means that it is apparent to everyone, clearly revealed. Clarity and truth are embedded into the very nature of making a thing manifest.
He made the comment that he’d been feeling out of alignment lately. He said that what he was thinking, what he was feeling, and what he was saying and doing were all different. So if getting my thoughts, feelings, words, and actions in alignment with my purpose will make my purpose manifest, what am I creating when those thoughts, feelings, words, and actions are out of alignemnt?
I am creating chaos.
I am creating Chaos.
No wonder I’ve been feeling out of whack. I’ve been desiring to manifest my purpose, while thinking about and focusing on my present circumstances, and saying how crazy my life is—all why wondering why random, out-of-control stuff keeps happening to me. My thoughts, feelings, words, and actions are completely chaotic, and so my life is completely chaotic.
Chaos Theory is a big topic and beyond the scope of what I can tackle before I jump in the shower and start my day. But if you’ve heard the idea that if a butterfly flaps its wings in Japan, there is a tornado in Texas, then you’re more or less familiar with the concept. The idea is that the outcomes of a complex system (like our lives) are highly dependent on initial conditions. It’s a deep well, and I’m going to have to spend some time thinking about other parts of Chaos Theory, like feedback loops, self-similarity, fractals, and self-organization. It seems to me, though, that this all hangs together. The outcome of my complex “system” of life, thoughts, feelings, words, and actions is dependent upon the initial conditions I set. Variables (craziness!) will be a part of this system—there’s no way around it—but I can chose how to navigate my soul through it.
Scripture says that “The LORD’S lovingkindness indeed never cease, for HIS compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Every morning I get a chance to renew my mind, to accept that I have the mind of Christ, and to align my thoughts, feelings, words, and actions so that I can manifest my purpose. I get to re-set my Chaos Theory initial conditions every single day.
That’s pretty great.
1 “Invictus,” William Ernest Henley https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/51642/invictus
2 Stong’s Concordance accessed through my favorite Bible site, https://www.blueletterbible.org