Calm in Chaos
By Martha Stringer
my house there is a clutter problem. Everywhere
I look there's stuff. Unpaid bills and school
papers litter my kitchen counter. Refrigerator
magnets anchor take-out pizza coupons alongside
a budding Picasso's artwork. Baskets of folded
laundry wait patiently by the bottom step to
be carried upstairs and unloaded - their contents
returned to the rightful owners. And the shoes
yes, the shoes. Five pairs of feet live in this
house. Five times that many shoes are visible
at any given moment. We have school, play and
church shoes. Snow boots for winter and rain
boots for spring. There are high heels, flats
and wedges, cowboy boots and clogs. Cleats for
soccer and t-ball, high-top sneakers for basketball.
Shoes are always underfoot: by the front door
and back door, by the TV and on the stairs.
No wonder the socks are hiding in the dryer.
I embark on a shoe reconnaissance mission -
a strategically planned battle designed to thwart
the enemy of footwear fray. Most of the time
however, I just step over them.
I am finally coming to terms with the fact that
family life is chaotic and the chaos grows exponentially
with the addition of each pair of feet. It's
a good thing the newcomer (and their shoes)
start out very small. It gives us a chance to
ease in - to bend to the bedlam without breaking.
think God knows all about confusion. In fact,
it's one of the tools he uses to get our attention.
He uses it to demonstrate his faithfulness and
the breadth and scope of his power.
promises us everlasting life when we accept
Jesus Christ as our Savior. Yet he never made
'neat and tidy' a pre-requisite for salvation.
He doesn't ask me to conquer the clutter in
my soul - he asks that I follow him. As I seek
to know and obey him, he deals with the clutter.
I am reminded of God's words in the Bible, "Be
still, and know that I am God." i
the mess and mayhem are getting the best of
me I try to remember I'll find calm in the confusion
if I let his Spirit guide me. For Jesus already
walked in my shoes. He knows the size of my
feet and the path I am traveling. When I veer
off course he'll lead me back. And when I'm
weary, and feel like one more step is one step
too many, all I have to do is ask and he will
carry me. He promised, "Come to me, all
you who are weary and burdened, and I will give
is a freelance writer living in Yardley, PA
with her husband and three children. In addition
to editing and writing a personal column for
her church newsletter, she works part-time for
a non-profit, social services agency. Contact
her at MStringer1463@aol.com
ii Matthew 11:28