“What a long week it has been,” I thought as I pulled myself out of bed and shut off the alarm today. My eyes felt glued shut, I was congested, my stomach felt funny from too many late nights. “I’m so ready for the weekend to be here.”
It is Monday.
And so tech week – the production week of the spring musical – begins. The week in which we hang lights and pin costumes and paint flats and watch as our students forget lines and stumble through dances until far past our bedtime. And in all the blundering and moving pieces and frantic moments a show is born. It is the clearest example of beauty coming out of messiness I’ve ever seen. From chaos, order is molded.
Entropy is always increasing. That is the second law of thermodynamics. Left to their own devices, all isolated systems will decrease in order. This is the world that we live in. Over time everything is falling apart. Look around you – look at the ever growing list of things to fix in your house, on your car, in your place of work. Look at the buildings gradually decaying. Look at how the planet itself – the grass and the trees and the flowers – begins to whither and fade. Look at how relationships crumble, how bodies get weak. Ours is a second law of thermodynamic world.
All to often my own life seems to be dictated by this law of decreasing order. No matter the lofty intentions or grand goals I make, I find myself sinking in the chaos of my world – internally and externally. Left to my own devices I would sit on my couch and eat pop tarts for the rest of my life, only breaking from this to sleep in twelve-hour increments. I see evidences of the second law of thermodynamics as I slip into self-centered tendencies, habitual patterns of pride, indulgent eating, or the inability to love generously. I have great plans to be a wonderful human being. But the law gets the best of me; I am constantly moving towards entropy.
But there is a caveat to this law. It pertains only to those who are in isolation, to those who are left to their own devices.
Thanks be to God: We are not alone.
We are not abandoned to get through this life on our own. Christ is near, He is with us. We have not been left to our own devices. And though we flounder and flail in the disorder of this world, we are not isolated. There is one who is working on our behalf to see that we are not swamped by the mess. There is one who is making order out of chaos, beauty out of disasters.
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.-Philippians 1:6 (Message)
This is why, though my sleep patterns are disturbed by late rehearsals and nightmares of costuming catastrophes, though my husband will probably go gray prematurely because of the stress of turning an old gymnasium into a theater, though we fall into bed every night exhausted and overwhelmed, we continue to put on productions. We have confidence that we are not alone, that the good works that God started are carried out to completion, that we will not be left isolated in this disorder, that out of this place of chaos – beauty will rise.
So we keep plugging away at the daily work of building the kingdom of Christ in a decaying world. It is not easy, it isn’t always fun, but if God is with us not even the second law of thermodynamics can stand against us.