Calm and chaos


Yesterday I experienced extremes, both calm and chaos.

I woke and it was a beautiful, sunny winter’s day here in Colorado.  I had to get out and reconnect with nature.  I knew just the spot – a 5.2 mile loop trail that gained about 900 feet of elevation not far from my home.

Although the day started out at 0 F degrees, I was confident that I could handle the cold and the sun’s promise to raise some heat.  I set off.  The trail was covered in several inches of snow, but it was easy going.  Very few people were out, and I saw no other human for nearly two hours.

The trees were heavy with snow.  Rays of sunshine reflected off the crystals of snowflakes.  It was beautiful and serene and familiar.

I stopped several times along the way just to soak in the calmness and wonder.  Branches of the tall pines were laden with snow.  As the sun warmed the upper branches, the snow would fall down in a ‘whoosh’ and scatter about in beautiful little bursts of powder.

Because of the somewhat harsh conditions, not many people ventured out to the fringes of the wilderness this early Saturday morning.  It was extremely pleasant.  The forest was in order.


Later on that day, I had another pleasant experience.  A friend of mine invited me to go roller skating with her family.  Since I had no other plans, I accepted.  I had not skated in a few years, but I knew it would be fun.

The indoor skating rink was crowded.  Many children and families were there.  It was obvious that many were there to celebrate birthdays.

At one point in the skating session, I was out on the floor with many children skating around.   Some were good skaters, others were not.  Some followed the direction of flow, many chose to move across or against the normal flow of traffic.  Many waddled along, some fell to the floor with arms and legs splayed about.


It dawned on me that this is what chaotic behavior looks like.  Everyone moving about, going their own way.  The rules were abandoned.  Bodies were moving around and crashing without purpose or direction.

On a larger scale it would have been scary.

It was clear that the more experienced, faster, and stable skaters were to be the responsible ones.  They had to watch out for the younger, inexperienced skaters.  This was the only way order could be maintained and that the crashes weren’t catastrophic.

Where there is no vision, the people perish.   Proverbs 29:18

This brings me to my point.  When people go about life without direction, without purpose, without a vision, they won’t grow, they won’t prosper, and they won’t flourish.  Instead, they perish.

People without a vision for their lives speed around in circles.  Perhaps they fall and get back up, but usually they get back onto the same looping track.

Those of us with experience and maturity must walk alongside those without.  We need to help teach and encourage them.  Sometimes we must hold their hands until they are stable enough to go it alone.  Sometimes we must intervene and get them off the circular track – to help them escape the grips of dangerous and wanton behavior and lifestyles.  Sometimes when you are spinning around in circles you get dizzy and don’t even know how to escape from it.

We all need people in our lives to see things from a different perspective.  Folks with more maturity who can help us get grounded.  Likewise, we need to be healthy and available to others who could use our assistance.

We do need to have times of isolation and re-energizing.  The mountains are a great place for that.  To see God’s world as He designed it.  In its natural, ordered splendor.  We then can take that refreshment and calmness back into the world, and help our brothers and sisters gain some order from the chaos that so easily entangles us all.

What do you think?  Is there someone you can reach out and help today?  Someone who lacks a vision and is perishing?  Go ahead, give them a call of encouragement.  Life is short.  Don’t wait to make a difference.

Blessings to you and your family throughout 2015.  Please drop me an email if you would like to suggest any topics for me to cover during the year or if you would like to submit a guest post.

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About John Forrest