Surviving the Chaos

imgresThere are times in all of our lives where our well-planned ideas and goals all fall apart, and we find ourselves trying to survive in the midst of chaos.

I hate to tell you this, but sometimes we have to live in the chaos.

Chaos comes to all of us from time to time.

•Sometimes chaos comes because we don’t plan well or we haven’t learned how to say no to people and our lives are filled up with other people’s expectations.

•Sometimes chaos comes to us because we choose to live on the edge, taking frequent risks and choosing to welcome chaos because it’s where incredible things happen.

If you’re like me, you constantly live between these two areas.

This week, I’m living in some chaos. I have a list of things that need to get done, I made some tough decisions months ago about travel and appointments that are finally catching up with me, and I don’t like the chaos that is around me, but it’s here because of conscious decisions I made. I can’t blame anyone else for this, and I am doing my best to move through it without missing any of the purpose and opportunities that come with it.

Next week, I’ll get back to my intentional schedule and some much-needed margin in my life.

Chaos comes to all of us, so when it comes, are you going to be paralyzed by it, or are you going to find great success in the midst of it?

Gary Keller writes in his book, The One Thing (©2012 Rellek Publishing);

“The reason we shouldn’t always pursue balance is that the magic never happens in the middle; Magic happens at the Extremes.”

He’s talking about our constant pursuit for balance, yet sometimes we strive for things to be mediocre, where what we need is a little chaos in our life.

When the chaos comes, there’s opportunity for some incredible things:

  • Teams come together
  • Leaders step up
  • Conflict becomes less important as we rally around a common cause
  • People depend on each other and learn to listen to each other
  • We realize that we can’t do it all alone
  • We create space for God to show up and we acknowledge His presence

Again, I’m not advocating that you create chaos or you live in chaos all the time, but we need to learn how to handle chaos when it comes, because it will come.

Here are 3 simple things to do NOW in anticipate for the coming storm:

#1) Build Your Team

Work today on building a healthy team, identifying the strengths and gifts of those around you and learning how to work together. When the storm comes, you will rely on these people. Learn to work together today.

#2) Know Your Calling

Just because there’s a storm, this doesn’t mean it’s YOUR storm. Sometimes we get sucked into other people’s chaos and we don’t need to be. Know what you’re called and created to do. Know the purpose of your organization and the plan. Stay on task. Stay focused. This doesn’t mean you ignore the needs around you, but keep your priorities your priorities.

#3) Move Through It

Be intentional in how you walk through it. Rally the troops. Create a plan. Know when you’ve completed what you need to complete. Work hard. Pull together. Lead with passion and clarity. Do your best work. Don’t attack it half-heartedly, but use all of your gifts and strengths to succeed.

Chaos will come.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite characters in the Old Testament. Elijah had just come through an incredible time of chaos and victory as he stood up to the prophets of Baal. He had run for his life, yet he was being hunted. There’s a moment in that story in 1 Kings 19 where God come to Elijah in a whisper… a whisper in the midst of chaos, and Elijah is renewed and he remembers what he’s doing and where he’s going and who he’s following.

When chaos comes, don’t lose that voice. It’s the voice reminding you that it will be OK. It’s the voice reminding you to keep going. It’s the voice reminding you that you’re not alone. It’s the voice of encouragement, of peace, of hope and His voice will help you not only survive the chaos, but thrive in the chaos.

Chaos will come. Chaos has come.

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Russ Cline has wide experience in church, mission, and global leadership. Beginning in the local church in Southern California, then moving to Ecuador for 16 years to be a part of launching three distinct organizations, Russ is now back in Southern California working with Extreme Response International in providing leadership coaching and organizational development to leaders around the world. Russ' passion is to come alongside organizations and to help them identify areas of growth, focus and change, resulting in greater impact and effectiveness. Russ graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business and Christian Education and completed his graduate work in Organizational Development. He has been married for 29 years to Gina, and they have three kids: Rheanna, Riley and Raylin. Write directly to Russ at: rcline@extremeresponse.org www.extremeresponse.org www.leadermundial.org twitter: leadonesource, leadermundial

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