These days life is full of uncertainty for lots of people, including me. I was lamenting this reality to a friend the other day, when she said, “Maybe you just need to embrace the chaos.”
Embrace the chaos? Easier said than done. I don’t like chaos. I don’t know many people who do. But it got me thinking.
A few days later I was about 30 minutes into my daily run when, after a few sudden claps of thunder, I found myself in pouring rain. And I mean pouring. There was no shelter in sight, so it seemed my only option was to make a dash for home. I drew a deep breath, and off I went.
About five minutes down the road I was struck by a sudden succession of thoughts. Why was I running so frantically? And what was I running from? I was already drenched. My clothes had reached the saturation point. It wasn’t like getting home more quickly would get me home any drier. Suddenly, fussing about getting wet seemed kind of stupid. I reconsidered my options. Embrace the chaos!
I stopped sprinting and focused on enjoying the thunder and lightning, the torrential rains, the gorges, the rushing stream that was once a path—all of it. It was exhilarating!
Until that point I had been bemoaning my sorry, sopping state—my wet, clingy, uncomfortable clothes; the hair plastered annoyingly to my face and neck; the thoroughly soaked shoes that squish-squashed with every step. But as soon as I accepted that there was no alternative, I was able to surrender to the elements, relax, and even enjoy the walk home.
There are some things that we just can’t avoid. Like a little chaos. Life has a way of backing us against a wall. But if we can stop fighting what we can’t change and accept the situation for what it is, we put ourselves in a better position to make the most of it.