…the need for chaos?…

I’m not sure I’m fully ready to comment on something, but with it fresh in my mind I wanted to at least post it to create some accountability on my part to think it through further.

In one of the books I’m reading, the authors pulled this paragraph from another book. It’s not excessively lengthy, but it’s not just a quote. I challenge you to read it and attempt to look at the implications in your own life and what the majority of us are striving for.

nature is at its innovative best near the edge of chaos. The edge of chaos is a condition, not a location. It is a permeable, intermediate state through which order and disorder flow, not a finite line of demarcation. Moving to the edge of chaos creates upheaval but not dissolution; that’s why being on the edge is so important. The edge is not the abyss. It’s the sweet spot for productive change. And when productive agitation runs high, innovation often thrives and startling breakthroughs can come about. This elusive, much sought after, sweet spot is sometimes called “a burning platform.” The living sciences call it the edge of chaos.

– Richard Pascale, Mark Milleman, and Linda Gioja, Surfing the Edge of Chaos: The Laws of Nature and the New Laws of Business

  • If the “sweet spot” of life is the edge of chaos, then how do we reconcile our American dreams of pursuing opulence and perpetual relaxation?
  • How do we sync up the ideas of comfort and serenity with the proposed reality that our best moments are found in the points farthest from those desired qualities?
  • What kind of balance is required between living in the stressful situations that help germinate the brilliance and the natural vulnerability that comes from those same places?
  • What implications does this present spiritually for us? Are we only going to find true innovation in the church when we push out to the boundaries of where we’ve previously been and expand the edges of what we know? Is the risk involved in doing this worth the reward? What are the potential casualties in this adventure?

I can’t say that all of the implications to this make sense to me yet, but I am quite intrigued by exploring it.

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