When we talk about chaos and order, we remember that one of the tasks of creation (as Trevor mentioned) is creating order out of chaos. All things were given their place (like light and dark, land and sea, sky and the earth), but one thing we often overlook in this ordering is the creation of relationships.
Last weekend, Lydia and I had the privilege to attend the Storyline conference hosted by Donald Miller (great review of this conference here). Being a huge fan of his books and blog, while also needing some good tools to use as we grow as a family, this conference really made sense for us.
While there was a TON of information to parse through, a few things float to the surface as I think of what it means to bring order to chaos through relationships.
1. Miller talked a lot about creation and how even before “The Fall”, there was conflict. God gave Adam the task of naming the animals. I have never considered what a huge task that was. Consider how many species there are in the world. It might take some time to finish this task. Years upon years, I would think.
Yet, God gave him the gift of relationship. He created Adam to desire more than just work and tasks. Adam was made complete by his relationship with his God and with his mate. Order was called forward not only in the creation of things, but in the creation of human relationships.
2. Also, Miller stated: “No matter how difficult life can be at times, often we are just one good relationship away from things being okay again.” When he said this, I thought no way could it be that easy. But, I think back to the most difficult times in my life. Usually they were brought on by a loss of relationship, loneliness, or conflict. Nine times out of ten, when things are out of sorts, good relationships can be a remedy.
3. Finally, a suggestion was made by Miller that, in order to live out a good story we must have a good grasp on who we would like to emulate. We all have folks we look up to or historical figures whose influence is felt deep. Miller’s challenge was to list the characteristics of those folks and let them be a “compass” of sorts-guiding us as we make our decisions and put effort towards living a better story.
So, as we wrap our discussions for the week on what real margins look like, I would like to pose a few questions to you.
1. How have good relationships given you perspective when chaos abounds in your life?
2. How does the idea of “being one good relationship away from everything being okay” strike you? Is this realistic?
3. Have you struggled to find good folks to emulate? How have you chosen who you will follow?
Let’s start talking about this, guys. We would love to hear your feedback as we explore what it means to be people of margin.