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Chaos and Order

I love order. It brings me great peace to clear the dining room table, to put away folded laundry, to gather all the items strewn upon the floor in the front hall and restore them to their proper place. If I had more time, everything in our house would be orderly. As it is, I pick a few key locations and do my best.

Genesis 1 speaks of God bringing order out of chaos: "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light" (2-3). The story goes on, over the course of seven days, with a refrain: "And there was evening, and there was morning, the first day..." From darkness to light. From a time of fear to a time of rejoicing. From chaos to order.

It is an account that works well with my personality, but sometimes I wonder if that's just because I'm a type-A over-achiever. And yet perhaps there is something in all of us that needs a certain degree of order, and perhaps that is what creation and creativity is all about.

I read once that paintings by Jackson Pollack can't be recreated because there is an inherent order to his drips and splotches. Scholars can use a computer and apply fractal geometry to Pollack's "drip paintings" and determine whether they are authentic or forged. Do they have an internal order to them, or are they simply random? (For a long and fascinating article about Jackson Pollack and fractal geometry click here.)

Perhaps creativity and order are indeed linked. Perhaps part of what it means to participate in a life with God is in bringing order, creating order, to some portion of the world around us.

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